Team sports prepare boys for the corporate business model. However, girls usually play closely with a friend or two. What great preparation for the entrepreneurial partnership! As women continue to start businesses in record numbers, it is fitting that many find partnership a comfortable format. In fact, business partnership works for women with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, including those tired of hitting the corporate glass ceiling, stay-at-home moms, and women who are pursuing their passions and social connections in want to transform business ideas.
Being in a partnership comes with a variety of benefits, including a sense of connection and someone to cover you when you go on vacation. On the other hand, many partnerships end in crises and conflicts. To avoid partnership failure, your partnership must have the following seven components of a positive partnership.
Shared Values. Partners need a sense of shared standards of what is desirable, undesirable, good, and bad. These values will guide the actions, judgments, and decisions of partners. Values that often carry significant emotion can range from an appreciation of family, wealth, ambition, a work ethic, or a political belief. In addition to supporting the partners in making congruent decisions, common values serve to keep the partners together.
Different (complementary) abilities and characteristics. Successful partners have different (complementary) skills and characteristics. The broader the range of competences of the partners, the clearer the division of labor (and power) can be. It may be easy to distinguish the marketing person from the technical person in a company, but other necessary variables are often not so easy to discern. Michael Gerber’s classic book The E-Myth explains that a business owner must play three roles: Entrepreneur – the creative visionary; manager, the administrator who brings planning, order and predictability; and technician – the craftsman. Partnerships have the distinct benefit of having two or more invested individuals available to fill the three required roles.
Sense of justice. Justice occurs when the rewards of a relationship are proportional to what each side perceives as their contribution. Strangers and casual acquaintances uphold justice by keeping track of the benefits they exchange. However, in long-term and more committed relationships, being on top of things is not healthy. Instead, a sense of justice should be established. A perception of injustice (I give more than I get) takes a tremendous toll on a partnership.
grow together. From the moment we are born until the moment we die, we are in a process of growth and change. Partners and their partnerships are continuously subject to this process of change. However, we are often unaware of the changes we are experiencing. And sometimes change is seen as a threat to the status quo. Successful partners embrace change and growth, knowing that this attitude benefits both their individual and collective professional identities.
Proactive conflict management strategies. Competing and avoiding are not effective conflict management strategies for a partnership. Instead, successful partners use proactive and strategic conflict resolution approaches such as adaptation, compromise, and collaboration to resolve their differences.
common point of view. Partners need a shared vision or plan for the future. Vision is what defines and expresses where an organization wants to go and how it wants to get there. A shared vision allows partners to focus on their goals and the methods they will use to achieve those goals. When partners have different visions, they become discouraged, overwhelmed, and separated. In order to create and effectively benefit from a shared vision, four tasks are required: creating the initial vision, translating that vision into the necessary physical actions, articulating and selling the vision to others, and staying true to the essence of the vision, when it becomes reality changes plans.
An exit strategy. It has been said that a graceful exit is evidence of a successful venture. Without an established exit strategy, partners can make important decisions at a time when they were least sensible. An exit strategy is a shared sense of when and how an alliance will end, and should be incorporated into a business plan as an endpoint. While planning for the end can be a critical aspect of owning a business, it’s also one of the most neglected. Exits are easy to avoid when the issue is not urgent, and raising the issue could cloud the deal or indicate a lack of trust. When considering an exit plan, four questions should be answered: What events could trigger a termination of the partnership? How is the company rated in the end? what options for future ownership are acceptable; and what post-alliance bindings and restrictions, such as B. non-competition clauses, must be included.
When you form a partnership that is strong in these seven components, you have the potential to create synergy and reap some amazing benefits. Real synergy occurs when two (or more) people work together to achieve results that would not have been achievable independently. In a synergetic partnership 2+2>4 and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.