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6 Ways to Build Mutually Beneficial Business Partnerships Partners who are skilled in definite areas give one the opportunity to concentrate on his or her core competencies

By Baishali Mukherjee

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Success in business is not a solitary affair. The Knowledge of partnering with other businesses is the driving force in making companies flourish. Developing a partnership policy for businesses is an efficient way to augment productivity and acquire new customers.

A complete understanding of the intellectual property and the worth you bring in to the partnership helps in negotiating terms strategic agreements. Another critical component is communication. After the agreement is signed with the potential partner and relationship is established, keeping up the communication plays a vital role in future growth. It is always good to maintain regular contact and share every problem and success. This helps in keeping the confidence level high and shows your compatibility in dealing with unexpected problems or sudden changes in situations.

However, entrepreneurs need to cautiously target other similar companies and consider tactically about ways of partnering with them. If done well, both the companies can benefit from each other while escalating their reach by appearing bigger than they actually are.

Here are five tips on building sturdy and beneficial partnerships.

1. Strategic partners often provide with funds and allow leveraging their brand for greater exposure. They also provide support in getting new businesses by offering services which are not available at the partner organisation. "An effective partnership can be just the thing needed to escalate growth of a business," Ritu Agarwal, CEO, Rush Fitness.

2. Partnerships play a vital role in franchising and it is often said that lovers do well in franchising and not fighters. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the franchisor to choose the right franchise for the whole system to flourish. "Wait before franchising your product, put systems, infrastructure, and service mechanism in place. Fear of failure by the franchise keeps franchiser sceptic," opined Agarwal.

3. Getting the accurate strategic partner is same as finding a co-founder or core team members. To work closely together, it is essential to have a strong connection. "Don't be scared to listen to your inner voice. "Don't overcommit. Try and preempt the challenges and look at the mindsets as expectations differ. If you feel that something isn't right, it's judicious to be vigilant, even if everything else looks tempting," Asit Biswas, founder, Help Tourism.

4. Do thorough investigation. You must be convinced of your partners' abilities before building any relationship. "Make enquiries about the credibility of the partners. It is always pragmatic to bond with players having an established track record. Don't forget to ask for evidence of the claims made," he notified.

5. It is critical to have clear objectives. Ensure that both partners are on the same page. This immensely advances the odds of a fine outcome. "It helps one understand the yardsticks for gauging the success of a venture. It is very critical to have clear views on your expectations from the partnership and comprehend the partner's objectives in no uncertain ways. This will ensure complete alignment and complementary visions," suggested Sidharth Pansari, Managing Director, Primarc Projects.

6. Honesty, as we know, is always the best policy. Accept your weaknesses and gaps and do not try too many things on your own. This is particularly true for entrepreneurs who are extremely zealous about their idea or product. "Looking for partners who are skilled in definite areas gives you the opportunity to concentrate on your core competencies," counselled Pansari.

Baishali Mukherjee

Former Freelancer

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