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History has witnessed that business partners who have successfully built and run some of the largest corporations in this world, starting right from the garage space, did not seek each other; they kind of stumbled upon one another in their respective journeys of life. And after their businesses became successful and popular, people sliced up as to what went right between them.

 

However, such analysis may not help recreate history when it comes to finding the right business partner. What we can do is take a shot at some of the favourable traits and conditions under which we can expect to find the right business partner for us.

You stumble upon one other

In our professional as well as personal lives, we come across many individuals and professionals from different fields and different backgrounds. We might have worked with them, even for a short stint of time but long enough to know them professionally and to some extent, personally. They could be also our friends or classmates from college or university or just acquaintances. These individuals are some of the brightest prospects in which we could find a suitable business partner and we do not meet them out of a planned encounter; they already exist around us, somewhere.

Larry Page from Michigan and Sergey Brin from Russia met as Ph.D. students at Stanford University, California. They did not start off as friends. A common research project on web search engines brought them together which eventually went on to become the groundwork for Google (1A) (1B) .

You complement one another

Every individual is unique in terms of his skills and expertise. But such skills may not always be enough to take a brilliant idea off the ground by converting it into a successful business. Because of this lacking, invariably in every individual, there’s a need that as business partner(s), we complement our skills and expertise with individual(s) who could take care of the other aspects of the business. And when a group of individuals with unique but complementary set of skills and expertise, required for accomplishing a common goal or a vision, comes together, it completes the core team at the top.

Steve Wozniak was brilliant with his technical expertise at designing computers. Steve Jobs, on the other hand, had the business acumen; somebody who wanted to change the world. The pair complemented each other in the right way, at the right time to build one of the largest and innovative companies of all time – Apple (2).

You all are qualified and have professional exposure

There are several successful entrepreneurs who never graduated from college and yet their businesses left a mark in the world. But talking about business partners in today’s business environment, qualification somehow becomes a common decisive factor. Professional knowledge and exposure become critical amongst business partners as they would be sharing a common vision and taking important decisions on the functions of management like planning, organizing, directing, staffing and controlling and most importantly, they have to deliver competently in their respective areas of expertise.

You share similar morals and values

The notions of what should be and what should not be; what is right and what is wrong; what is acceptable and what is not acceptable; the yes and the no, to a large extent, explains why human beings differ from one another. The minor differences in morals and values between two individuals usually do not appear on the surface. But in the course of life and business, situations do arise which expose the strong underlying variances in the morals, ethics and values of business partners. It is obviously not a good sign for business when such difference of opinions between business partners reaches irresolvable levels. That is why it becomes important to ensure that future business partners share similar morals and values at both professional and personal levels.

Trustworthiness

In execution of day-to-day and short-term business functions, a lot of decisions have to be taken by business partners independently in their respective areas of work. In the presence of mutual trust, each partner can freely and independently take these decisions to the best of their domain expertise in the best interest of business. However, in the absence of this mutual trust, even the day-to-day business decisions have to be routed through protocols involving consent of other partners making the business decision-making process lengthier and time-consuming.

Trustworthiness of an individual is often manifested in his communication etiquettes, consistency of opinions and performances, seriousness (not finicky) about details etc.

Independence and sense of responsibility

An individual can be honest, truthful and professionally skilled but without a sense of accountability and responsibility, he may not be an ideal business partner. A good business partner needs to possess the ability to independently manage his areas of work and general business functions with a sense of responsibility and accountability. One of the best ways to glimpse into an individual’s leadership skills and independence is to observe the person in his current role or by carrying out minor projects. The scope of this observation should also include his discipline, decorum and level of commitment to his current projects.

Due respect for each others

Due respect for others is a sign of good will and strength of one’s own character. As business partners, mutual respect is extremely important for healthy professional relationships in the core team. Without mutual respect, crossing of lines and authorities is bound to occur in a business which may create internal feuds and disagreements. An individual’s demeanor can speak volumes on the kind of space and respect he reserves for a fellow individual.

The factors discussed above do not act in isolation and often overlaps one another. Finding the right business partner is not a one-way phenomenon. As partners in business, the one who is right for you also needs to be reciprocated by you being the right for them. Apart from professional skills and expertise, there’s a lot that needs to match from human perspective as well. It is always a good idea to have a rough mental sketch of who you want as your business partner.

 

To know more about “Business Partner” get in touch with our Retail Experts on [email protected]


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Author Bio

Rupal Agarwal

Chief Strategy Officer

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