Finding the right business partner can make the difference between reaching your objectives or not. A vendor that delivers on a timely basis ensuring adequate inventory, a person or company that brings unrivaled talent or a buyer that pays on time, every time are invaluable.
If growing your business is dependent on a business partner, finding the right one does not have to difficult. It does need to be done correctly however.
After examining your business needs, make certain to find a partner that fills those needs entirely. Do they compliment your business and skill set, or overlap them? Though your search may result in finding honest, hard working business people, if they fail to satisfy your objectives the results will not be worth the effort.
There is too much riding on the outcome of a small business partnership to not consider his or her personality in addition to their services. High moral character, honesty, and integrity should be part of your decision-making process. This person or company will represent you and your business. Taking the time necessary to make certain they will do so professionally and ethically is crucial.
Develop an exit strategy. This may seem self-defeating, but it is actually just the opposite. Planning now for a successful dissolution provides all parties with a concrete time frame and a road map of the future for the partnership.
Locating a Partner
Do the work necessary to determine if the proposed business partner is not just financially solvent, but will remain a viable entity into the future. How long have they been in business? What does a review of their business plan tell you? Productive business partnerships are developed over time, so it is worth making sure they will be there as long as you will.
Conduct both a professional reference and credit check using one of the primary business credit rating agencies. Dun & Bradstreet is one of the leading firms of this type and can provide you with key financial information. Follow this up with an inquiry to professional references as well. The insight gained completing these two relatively simple steps can be invaluable.
Photo Credit: aiesecgermany, Flickr.