The 5 ways to make your business partnership last a lifetime

Shaughn Finnerty
Shaughn Finnerty

Published July 5, 2018, updated Oct, 27 2021


Maintaining strong partnerships is crucial to a business’ success.

Forming and nurturing partnerships that stand the test of time is a delicate process; one that needs our undivided attention.

Let’s break it down.

  1. Ensure you and your partner are on the same page
  2. One of the main ways your partnership could fail is if you and your partner have different definitions of success and thus focus your efforts in different directions. By being up front with what success looks like, both of you will be working towards a common goal.

    What does this look like? Aligned vision, and, most importantly a partnership that implements transparency up front.

  3. Align your skill sets
  4. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your partners, you can give and take… meaning each of you can leverage your strengths and use your unique skill sets to complement one another, making the partnership stronger as a whole.

  5. It’s not just business, but personal too
  6. Open communication and mutual respect are the bread and butter of any successful relationship. Never underestimate the power of a little TLC. Spread good vibes.

    Think of it this way: a successful marriage involves two people, with each person’s strengths balancing the other’s weaknesses...and vice versa. The same goes for business partnerships: you must play off each other’s unique skill sets.

    Despite disagreements or variance in ideas between you and your partner, remaining respectful and open-minded throughout the process will allow your relationship with one another to be more fruitful and rewarding. Be kind to one another.

  7. Consistent communication is key
  8. When forming any partnership, it is imperative to establish expectations surrounding the means and frequency of communication.

    Do this by grabbing a coffee or beer or Kombucha (if you are into that) every few weeks with your partner (and put it in your calendar as a recurring meeting so you don’t forget!). This allows for open dialogue about anything. By being open and honest, when issues inevitably come up, big or small, you will be in the best possible position to work through them. Together.

  9. Define who does what...ahead of time
  10. By defining which partner does what, you avoid doubling down on efforts. No point in doing things twice. Although the roles may change over time, establishing them up front will avoid conflict and overlap, optimizing collaboration efforts. And, if you don’t like doing something, share it with your partner, maybe they love doing what you hate. This give and take is the beauty of business partnerships.

To summarize, get on the same page, align your skill sets, be kind to each other, make time for each other and present your expectations upfront. These may sound obvious to you, but the obvious things can often be overlooked. Trust us on this one, it's the foundation of all of our relationships with our Klipfolio partners.

Let’s be friends.

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