• December 17, 2009

Are you thinking about taking on a partner for your business? Do you know what you need to know? How can you make sure it will be a win-win situation? Just like your life partner, you want to be sure that your business partner is “the one”. Taking the right steps now will help to ensure that the partnership is a good fit for you; one that will generate new business for both of you while still allowing you to provide the best products or services.

Nothing attracts success like success.

Before you start looking to for a partner, first make sure that you are established. Just as people are naturally attracted to successful people, companies are naturally attracted to successful companies.

Look for companies whose products or services that will add value to your business. What is it that you are looking to gain from the partnership, and what value can you add to another company? Ideally, a partnership with a company that is complementary to yours can take your business to higher heights and to heretofore untapped but potentially profitable areas. Depending on the goals and objectives of your business, there is only so much you can do solo. With the right partnership, the sky can literally be the limit.

Do your due diligence.

Once you have your own ducks in a row, including accurate and up-to-date financials for the past several business cycles, it’s time to begin your research. Identify a few good companies you think may make good partners and learn everything about them that you can:

What are their goals? Are those goals a match for yours?

What kind of corporate culture do they have? Is it similar to yours?

What is their business structure? What is in their D&B (Dunn and Bradstreet Profile)?

What are some less formal ways you can think of to work together as a trial balloon?

Have a Meetup before you make a Mashup.

It may take several weeks or even months before you can arrange a meeting with the principals of the businesses you are seeking for a partnership. Be creative and persistent in your pursuit.

When you know that you are ready, go ahead and put the offer on the table. Clearly spell out the benefits to each side of the partnership. Make sure that you have all of the documentation necessary to make your case.

A “mashup” is a combining of two entities into a larger and better one that retains the best of both. While a partnership is not exactly a melding, it does change who you are and what you do. Having a good partnership relationship makes those changes be for the better.

Enjoy your newfound greater success with your new business partner.

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