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Secrets to a successful business partnership

The success of any business can be boiled down to relationships. Partnerships are challenging endeavors that can make or break a company. Many of today's most successful companies were founded by mutually determined entrepreneurial leaders who cultivated great success through patience and commitment.

The key to a successful business partnership is finding the right partner(s), i.e., person(s). In a business climate where 50% of small businesses fail by the fifth year, a strong relationship with your business partner(s) is vital for long-term success. So, how can South Dakota business owners proactively develop dynamic and effective business partnerships?

Choosing a partner

Deciding on the person(s) you want to run your business with takes much more than selecting someone you get along with, or someone who thinks you have a great business idea. Give careful consideration to whether their business and leadership styles and ambitions match yours. Work with someone with whom you are compatible and who shares your passion and work ethic. Be assured of their loyalty, confidence, commitment and reliability.

Qualities of a good business partnership

There are more ingredients for a successful partnership that are part of a stable and profitable business, including:

  • Vision and mission. The most effective partnerships develop and implement a shared vision of the company. It can be useful to create a written vision statement that guides your work, outlines specific goals and communicates the partnership's overarching purpose, philosophy and long-term aspirations.
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities. To ensure maximum use of you and your partner's time, and to avoid duplicating efforts, clarify who will be responsible for what and divvy up tasks. Even if roles seem apparent, it's a good idea to define them in writing, so there is no room for misunderstanding.
  • Complementary traits. The best partnerships involve leaders who have skill sets that complement and support one another. Complementary skills can make it easier to plan, start, grow and accelerate business development.

A strong partnership can make a tremendous impact on your business. It is essential to work with someone who can help balance the leadership equation. When you find the person who fits, you can both enjoy the fruits of your passion.

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