3 Tips to Cultivate Healthy Business Partnerships

By: Julie Kirchner

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”
– Mother Theresa

In your journey of leading a team or a small business, have you ever entertained the thought that you could accelerate growth by embracing a business partnership? We hear you—it sounds challenging. But paving a path into new partnership territory can also come with substantial rewards like diversified skill sets, access to new networks, and newly discovered bandwidth (brain gold) for strategic planning. You likely have a dream partnership already in mind. So, how do you set the stage for a healthy partnership so you can stress less and grow more?

  1. Make a contract. Ground rules set everyone at ease. Establishing even a simple contract demonstrates that you take the partnership seriously and sets a standard for professionalism. Formstack and HelloSign are two resources that offer free trials and monthly plans starting at $15-16/month while giving you access to contract templates and mobile document e-signing capabilities.
  2. Model healthy communication practices, and others might just follow your lead. In the early stages of a partnership, devote ample time to onboarding. Use this time to clarify expectations and preferences, identify and model important boundaries, and ensure you are on the same page at each step. This time investment can help reduce stress later by preventing miscommunication, averting unrealistic timelines, and avoiding unmet expectations. Provide an approachable framework for your accessibility and set a positive and responsive tone.

If your partnership spans time zones, check out this Trello blog loaded with tools to help you expend less energy doing “time math.” In addition, consider the merits of old-fangled asynchronous communication to respect time zone differences and keep work-life boundaries healthy for everyone involved. Already started off on the wrong foot? That’s all right. You can use other transitions, like starting the new year or a new project, to kick-start healthier practices.

  1. Envision the relationship beyond the project. Rock-star partnerships bring strengths to each other’s weaknesses, fill important needs gaps, and set each other up for future success. Retained partners also become strong business allies with shared networks as well as your best sources for candid business feedback and innovative ideas. Keep learning; the better you know your partner’s dream goals and overall strategy aside from the current project that initiated the collaboration, the better you are positioned to invest in the partnership (and the relationship) long-term. Relationships outlive projects every day. Where a project ends, a good relationship can remain a powerful accelerator.

Still not sure where to begin or how to find the right business partner? Powerhouse specializes in helping your business reach its full potential. If you are considering how a partnership might benefit your business in 2022, explore our own case studies to learn ways you could open the door to powerful business growth through partnership this year.

If you need some help getting started, we are always just an email away. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn for more tips and resources to help you grow your business in a healthy way.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller