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Partnership-Finding Tips for Businesswomen

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Running a business is not an easy task—there will be potential problems along the way which will affect different areas, from financing and manpower to marketing and sales. As such, many businesses look to forming partnerships to help address problems or provide the things and competencies that they lack. In effect, partnerships can help solve a problem and bring a business to the next level.


There are different kinds of partnerships and business partners, from businesses or corporations that provide one kind of support, whether it’s advertising or financial backing, to joint ventures involving two or more parties which undertake a commercial project. Do you know which kind of partnership would suit your business needs best?


Finding the right partnership is daunting on its own, unless you know how to go about it. As a businesswoman beginning the search for the right business partner, keep the following tips and advice in mind on your journey.


Find a Business Partner Whose Business Goals Are Similar to Yours

Naturally, when you have an idea for a business partnership, you and your potential partner will need to have similar goals, values, and ways of reaching those goals. As a businesswoman, finding a partner with a similar vision and business values is more important than finding someone who is similar to you in general—if you’re goals are the same, you won’t be pulling the business in different directions.


Find a Business Partner Whose Skills Complement Yours

Consider your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your business. Where does the business excel? Where is it lacking? Could you partner with another business who performs well in those areas? Finding a partner whose skills complement yours makes your business stronger as a whole and allows you to focus on the areas you’re good at while allowing you, through constant communication and observation, to gain valuable insights that will be beneficial in refining areas of your business that need improvement after the partnership contract has lapsed.


Find People That You Trust

Remember that you’re going to be working with the partner business’ representatives often. Trust is critically important to your partnership, and it’s something that builds over time. It’s not only important to work well together, but to ensure that you have similar goals, values, and views for your business' futures.


Find a Business Partner Who Is Ready for the Job

A business partner is supposed to be just that—a partner. They need to have the time, energy, resources, and skills the partnership and its resulting business collaborations and campaigns require. As much as you may want to give someone a chance, if they can’t guarantee that they’ll devote an adequate amount of time, focus, energy, and resources to making the partnership work, they won’t be a partner. If you’re not careful,you’ll end up with an additional responsibility for you and a liability to your business if you go ahead and sign on the dotted line without thinking things through.


Find Time to Research

If you’re looking at a potential partnership with another business, take time to research about its past, operations, the issues (if any)it has been involved in, and how other businesses perceive it. Doing so will reveal valuable information that will help you in your decision-making. Remember that it’s not because you don’t trust anyone; it’s more of you looking after your assets and preventing yourself from rushing into making a decision that you’ll regret. 


This is especially true in the context of being a businesswoman, where other people might try to take advantage of you just because they see you as more nurturing and forgiving. Doing the needed research prevents this from happening while helping you make the impression that, as a businesswoman, you always come prepared.


Find a Business with Good Business Ethics

Making a business work right is a big deal and will require you to invest time and (in most cases) money. If you’re entering a partnership with another entity, you should be able to trust the way your partner handles financial matters, as well as their ethics regarding business finances, ideas, and the law. Remember, any trouble that your partner creates might also negatively affect you. Any unethical practices will also reflect on your business, so choose a partner you're comfortable having business dealings with.


A business partnership can either make or break your business which means thoroughly studying your options makes perfect sense. If you’re looking for relevant advice for businesswomen looking for partnerships, BPW will be able to give you the needed mentorship and insights for making the right decision. 

BPW International develops the professional, business and leadership potential of women on all levels through advocacy, mentoring, networking, skill building and economic empowerment programs and projects around the world.


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Guest Thursday, 19 July 2018