just because you share common interests, even a common vision with someone doesn’t mean much if there’s no trust. After all, if your partner feels like they’re getting the worst part of the deal. There’s a chance that they’ll deliberately under-perform or even subconsciously feel less motivated to give it their best.
If you’re running the same business, it’s highly likely that they’re taking on some of the vital administrative tasks and, if they feel like they need to keep some of their work a secret, you have a serious problem. With that in mind, and without further ado, here are several tips on how to maintain a good relationship with business partners and avoid this problem altogether.
Agree on shared goals
Shared interests are great, yet, they are often abstract. For instance, in your case, a success may be the ability to double your customer base in a year, while for your partner this might not be enough.
Same goes for all other metrics like profit, conversions, traffic and overall presence on the market. In other words, what you see as a success, they might interpret as a massive failure.
Fixing a problem is impossible when one of the two parties fails to admit (or even understand) there is one in the first place. Therefore, agreeing on shared goals (long- and short-term) is the key to maintaining a functional relationship.
The share doesn’t matter
Another thing you need to understand is that regardless who has the majority share in the company, no one wants to feel like a sidekick. Therefore, simply overruling someone simply because you have the ability to do so is not a good business practice.
First of all, if you didn’t need a partner, you wouldn’t get one in the first place and there’s a difference between being able to run a company on your own and being almost able to run a company on your own.
The difference is the same as between passing a test and failing it by a single point. In other words, those 5 percent that someone brings to the table might be enough to make the difference between a success and failure.
Get to know each other on a personal level
No matter how efficient, business meetings are not the best way of getting to know someone on a personal level. Sure, the nature of your relationship might be business-oriented, yet, going that extra mile is your duty as an entrepreneur.
You might want to organize a casual activity that will help you get to know each other better, like going to a paintball session or hit a golf course together. In the case of the latter and order to leave a good impression, however, you might want to practice your swing a bit.
Therefore, paying for a couple of lessons or, better yet, getting a golf swing machine to assist your learning process by assisting your muscle memory might be a great idea.
Always be frank
Honesty is definitely the key, which is why so many entrepreneurs walk into a deadly trap of flattering the other party too much. In theory, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to leave a good impression or even presenting your company as a much better entity than it actually is but, in the long-run, this might harm the trust between you and your partner.
After all, once they figure out that you’re the kind of person who doesn’t have a problem telling them what they want to hear, they’ll have to double guess every word that comes out of your mouth. As for yourself, once you get too accustomed to this dishonest behavior, you’ll find that breaking bad news becomes much harder.
Even though both you and your partner may have a very tight schedule. Holding a face-to-face meeting is not just a sign of respect but also a lot more. You see, in interpersonal relationships, learning how to read non-verbal communication can show you when someone is uncomfortable, relaxed or worried.
By addressing these issues right away, you might be able to establish a much stronger bond of trust. Contrary to the popular belief, a conference call is not the same thing. Seeing as how the pixelated image and a lag-interrupted dialogue restrict one’s ability to give it their best. Read all the above-mentioned subtle signs with enough efficiency.
Maintaining a good relationship with a business partner is a vital part of preserving the internal unity of your company. In other words, it’s something your business just can’t do without.
That being said, it’s important to understand that all of these rules can be applied to your suppliers, outsourcing partners, customers and even staff members. In other words, you’re not just learning how to make a better relationship with a partner. You’re learning how to make all business world relationships work much better.