5 Communication Tips To Secure Non-Toxic Business Partnerships
For those not aware, I’ve started a second business over a year ago. I’m indeed very lucky to have a wonderful business partner working with me on this adventure. I feel like we were meant to meet and make this happen, yet as much as our work together has been smooth thus far, I’m aware of the conscious decisions we had to make in order to secure a business partnership that actually works. Let me expand on this.
I truly believe that healthy communication with your business partner is primarily connected to the overall success of your business. Easier said than done, as many businesses out there often fail because of the miss-communication or even conflicts between business partners. So how can we work to maintain good relationships?
#1 Be transparent
As much as it is important to be open about your needs, it is also crucial to know what your business partner is currently going through in life and in business. There are many factors that can affect our performance and if you’re not there to listen – your relationship is down to fail. In my eyes, being transparent should be your prior rule when it comes to creating strong business partnerships.
Daring greatly means the courage to BE VULNERABLE. It means to show up and be seen. to ask for what you need. To talk about how your feeling. To have the hard conversations.
You’re building a business together & you have responsibilities, so your relationship might not always be simple. You’ll most probably need to be more vulnerable than ever and will end up having many uncomfortable conversations about your work, values, finances, communication skills. It’s up to you whether you take it as an opportunity to grow or use it to feed your insecurities.
#2 Determine your values
In the end, the values of your business should pull you together. It just can not work if you don’t share the same core values. You might end up working just fine for a month or even a year, but a partnership where you see different end-goals will not get you far.
Make sure you don’t have conflicting visions for your business. This pairs up with those values – you really need to be on the same page about your goals for growth, you should determine and know what markets you both want to reach, what timelines work best for both, what benefits business should bring to each.
Sit down with a cup of coffee and really spend time talking about this. Not only it will help you to know what your business partner seeks in life, but it can also work as a great motivation session for the business itself.
#3 Don’t forget to check-in
It’s ok to change, to go through different seasons. It’s also absolutely fine for your business to change direction, but throughout all the changes, you need to make sure to update your business partner.
Setting goals at the beginning of your journey is great, but make sure you arrange to meet every quarter to talk about the next chapter or discuss, why you might need to spend a few more months working on your current plans.
#4 Determine what you bring to the table
Running a business gets busy. You might be able to track what your team members currently work on, but when it comes to your business partner it’s a whole nother story.
To help each other, make sure you both know your prior responsibilities and don’t forget to share your achievements or fails with each other.
I often share my to-do list with my business partner. It motivated me to go through that list faster and if I’m particularly busy- my partner knows what I’m currently focussing on and will not feel neglected if I can’t pick up that call or attend a meeting.
Last, but not least- trust is everything. Seriously, just stop for a minute and ask yourself: do you actually trust your business partner to manage your business? If the answer is ‘no’, it simply means you don’t have a partner – you only have one more employee to manage and that’s not how it’s supposed to work.
You need to find a way to trust your partner to do the job. You need to make sure you can actually rely on them to do the job the way it should be done. Otherwise, you’ll be taking all the responsibility yourself and will most definitely end up feeling burned out.
You can’t expect to have a perfect relationship when it comes to your business. Even the best business partners have disagreements. However, these debates can actually get you further than you think! They are just another benefit of having two minds working on the same issues.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that the real secret to success is to make sure you have a business partner that keeps you on your toes just as much as makes you feel valued.
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