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Business partnerships: Top tips for success

Partnerships can go wrong but there are some basic rules for avoiding disaster

What makes for successful collaboration?

Aspects of the interpersonal relationship between owners were cited most frequently as making for good co-owning relationships. Aspects of the working relationship were also mentioned but appeared less important and few co-owners mentioned factors such as social class, educational background or age.

In their interpersonal relationships co-owners need to:

  • Have the same shared visions, aspirations and objectives for their firm
  • Have similar or compatible personal values
  • Have mutual respect for the other’s competence  
  • Have mutual trust in the other and for the other’s honesty  
  • Be tolerant of the other’s weaknesses  

In their working relationship co-owners need to:

  • Have complementary skills and knowledge
  • Be good at working as a team
  • Have clearly defined responsibilities and roles.

Our level of understanding is limited but it does appear that collaboratively owned or acquired firms are likely to be more successful and grow faster, and in certain important sectors, such as high tech, collaborative ventures may predominate.

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