Who you partner up with can make or break your business venture. Your co-founder and vendors will decide how well you can execute the different interrelated facets of your day-to-day operations, such as production, inventory management, customer service, research and development, and marketing. Here are four tips on how to forge strong business partnerships that can help you grow your brand faster and more efficiently: 

Determine Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Your partner should fill in whatever gaps you have in terms of skill and expertise. For instance, if your background is in economics or finance, it would serve you well to have a business partner who is versed in technology or sales. Having multiple skill sets to tap into whenever necessary is key to creating a well-rounded business that can take on different challenges. 

Communicate Clearly and Regularly
You do not want to surprise your business partner with a decision you made behind his/her back nor be the receiving end of one. Aim to communicate anything business-related to your partner and expect him/her to extend you with the same courtesy. Set a recurring daily or weekly schedule when you both can talk with each other about business-related issues or opportunities that are worth looking into. 

Make it Mutually Beneficial
A partnership that only benefits one of the parties involved will decay over time, either slowly or in an instant. No one wants to be taken advantage of. As a business, you want your partnerships to be mutually beneficial both in terms of compensation and professional position.

Be Open-Minded
It’s easy to dismiss potential business partners who do not share the same values, goals, or personalities that you have. And while it is important to work with people with whom you get along well, it can restrict your opportunities for growth if you cut off people who may have slightly different opinions about your business. Listen to what they have to say. You never know where a good idea might come from. 

Organically building partnerships will take time and deliberate effort. Talk to as many people in your industry as you can. When the right person comes along, make sure you know how to extend your business opportunity. The decision to be in a partnership takes two (or more) people, so it’s as important for you to wow them as it is for them to wow you.

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