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31 2014

Partnering With Others

Syndicated from: Canadian Youth Business Foundation

HOW TO ESTABLISH STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS The first step in establishing strategic partnerships is to do an objective assessment of why a partnership is needed or necessary since if one enters into a business it is normally more effective to avoid partnerships for more efficient decision making The process for this assessment would start with a credible personal evaluation to honestly determine one’s own strengths, and more importantly, one’s own weaknesses. This should be done not speculatively, but based on experience and achievements. Some of the reasons for strategic partnerships would include: To access marketing skills and underpin one’s own lack of experience (and more importantly even if one has experience, looking for expert advice to strengthen the marketing skills) To access Business experience in operating successful businesses If a partnership is determined to be a necessity, it is preferable to have a minority partner to establish a more effective decision making process. If a minority partnership is established, the majority partner must be able and willing to accept advice and diminish one’s ego, which often can be a hindrance to effective solutions. FINDING THE RIGHT BUSINESS PARTNER Once the skills of a partner are determined and defined, a list of persons best able to provide that expertise should be established and prioritized. In addition to needed skills, the personal demographics of a potential partner should be established, which may include character traits such as integrity, stability, reputation in the business community and reputation on getting along with people and family. Once the persons have been identified and prioritized one should determine what benefits will be offered to motivate the partner. Interviews should then be held in various settings to evaluate the potential partner. The settings would be in their home, place of business, relaxed social environment etc and as often as required to create a fully satisfactory comfort level. OVERCOMING CHALLENGES IN WORKING WITH PARTNERS If appropriate research and interviews are held the risk of great challenges in working with partners should be mitigated. The greatest challenge would be having friendly debates, arguments and being able to listen and disagree without being disagreeable. The major way to achieve that is to ensure there is trust and respect between the partners. If mutual trust and respect exists challenges will be minimal.  Sidney Halpern, Chartered Accountant, Winnipeg, MB, CYBF Mentor

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