The last several years I've been a part of some very interesting projects and businesses and I want to shed a light on some of the observations I have. Some of the reasons why a lot of these businesses have been successful or are on the path to being successful is because the business used partnerships.
Now when I say the word partnerships, I'm not talking about the business structure that is a called a partnership where two or more parties come together to form a business and have different amounts of equity in the venture. When people hear partnerships this is usually what they think of.
In my eyes this is why a lot of entrepreneurs shy away from partnerships because it's scary and they think it deals with the term I described above. To me a partnership is something a lot different than this. A partnership in my eyes is when two parties (businesses or individuals) pool their resources together and decide to work as a team to achieve a common goal. In business this usually involves some shape of income and impact.
When I structure partnerships for my clients or businesses these are the two pillars that I shoot for each time. If I'm going to partner with someone I want to make sure that its both for making money because lets get real business is about making a profit and the more profit we make, the more impact we can have on our employees, society, and everything really. If someone tells you otherwise their just lying to themselves.
The second pillar is you guessed it; impact. They need to have a vision or an idea that is bigger than themselves. Having a partner have a similar belief and value system to me is crucial in business because if I'm going to do a partnership with you we genuinely have to like each other and enjoy doing business with one another. If we don't we are on a rocky path to a place we don't want to go.
The Real Reason Most Entrepreneurs Aren't Using Partnerships in Their Business
Over the last several months I've had a lot of private and public conversations about partnerships and something I started seeing was that lots of businesses had tried them in the past, but they weren't successful so they stopped doing anymore of them.
Heres a question for you, when you were a little kid and your mom kept saying "No!" to something did you actually stop or did you keep asking until she caved?
Now I know for me, I was a very stubborn kid and I'm still pretty stubborn to this day and I don't like taking no for an answer. I'm someone that will find a way no matter what. If you pursued a partnership with another business before and say you worked on a product launch together that flopped, does that mean you should stop them altogether? NO!
What it means is that party you engaged with in the partnership might not have been the best fit for your business or yourself at that time. The fit is the most important part right. Think about it from a relationship standpoint, if you dont have the right wife or partner, it sure is tough to have a successful marriage. The same goes for a partnership.
What I feel is holding you back from using more partnerships to grow your business in an efficient way is because you failed at them before and they didn't work.
This is where I help my clients and honestly what I love doing. Finding unique and unconventional ways to have businesses partner together and pool their resources to do something that is a win-win for both parties vs a flop or a one-sided win.
Just because your last partnership failed shouldn't mean you should stop pursuing them altogether. It means you need a partner thats a better fit.
What I Recommend Businesses Do
What I recommend to businesses that have failed at partnerships before or that have not invested their time or money into partnerships yet is think of your business in a long-term lens vs a short-term one that usually just involves sales.
In my eyes, sales is actually very different than business development. Really good sales people sometimes aren't the best long-term relationship builders that can align your company and the brand with the right people for the next decade. Good business developers do this and this is where I've noticed my zone of genius is.
I'm a business developer that can align brands with the right people and organizations that over the lifetime of your business can bring multiple 6-7 figures in profit because I look at all partnerships in a long-term lens. I want to align myself, my clients, and my own businesses with people and brands that are in places we want to go but also with people who I believe in, and I feel could play a part in our future success.
"I see an opportunity for us both to do something amazing together one day or in two months, or years down the road that I don't want to be swayed by short term success."
So if you get anything from this post I want you to see that partnerships are crucial to your business to succeed now and into the future. You see more and more partnerships being announced daily as businesses are trying to adapt to a changing environment where in order to succeed you have to be agile and willing to work with others in your industries.
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