Sunday, March 28, 2010

Business Partner - How To Choose A Business Partner

Knowing how to choose a business partner, alliance or joint venture partner can be tricky if you do not have a defined purpose when making a choice. Many owners of small companies or start up businesses often think that the purpose is to have help and have an extra person to help alleviate the total load of work. I personally have made many mistakes when choosing people to join me on a particular project and I would like to share with you the most common mistakes so that you will not have to make them for yourself.

1. Think twice before considering friends or family members.
The only reason a friend or family member should be considered is if they have something of value to bring to the table that you do not ALREADY have. This could be in the form of knowledge, funds, clientele, or a skill that is necessary for the success of whatever the endeavor may be. If you are considering friends and family members because you like them, that is not a good reason. You need to consider them with the same criteria that you would consider a complete stranger.

2. Always have something of value to offer in return when you are looking for a partner.
Many people make the mistake of seeking partners that already have what they want without considering what they can also bring to the table.  If you have a skill, show how that can be of significant use to the person or business that you are trying to partner up with. For example, you may consider partnering up with a company that sells socks if you are a shoe designer. You may consider partnering up with a soap maker if you produce lotions. In both examples, you are partnering up with a person or company that has a complimentary skill that you do not have without being competitive. You may also consider partnering up with a skilled marketer who currently has clients in your industry. In this case, you have the product which is of value to them and they have the means to put it before buyers which is of value to you.

3. Make sure you "test out" your potential business partner or alliance before committing. 
Some people have a lot of ideas but when it comes to implementing those ideas they are not willing to do the work. These people end up being "dead weight" and will cause you a lot of grief in the end. Give yourself a few months to get a feel of their work ethic and work habits. If they turn out to "talk more and deliver less" you can end the relationship without having to go through any "legal hoops" that could end up costing you a lot of money.

4. Make sure they CLEARLY understand your vision. In fact, make sure YOU clearly understand your vision as well.
I entered into a business relationship several years back with a person who kept trying to change the direction of my company. She was a great sells person and I was a young entrepreneur so I figured she knew what she was doing. In the end the direction of my company was completely off course I had to end the relationship entirely. My lack of a defined vision was what enabled me to allow her to change the course of my business and it would have happened with anyone I entered into a relationship with at that time.
I hope these tips help you so that you won't make the mistakes I did. Use your intuition as your guide and act immediately when you sense that something is not right. Always remember to do everything with pure intentions even if it means ending a relationship. Stay professional and kind but stay firm and with purpose.
I'm very proud of you and you are on the right track to manifesting your dreams.

Give thanks to God for this valuable lesson and go and live an abundant life. :)

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Alisani Brazil, The Happy Kindalista

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