Finding the Right Partners to Expand Your Business: What to Look Out For?
F inding the right partners in business is much like everything else in life it's a lottery, or is it really?

Business relationships can be less fraught than personal relationships or intimate relationships, but they are finely balanced propositions and invariably can be mitigated using contracts and timeframes whereas friendships and relationships don't.

Other similarities are that you will spend a lot of time with your business partner so it's important that you have a similar disposition. Do you get along? Do you have the same value systems? Do you have the same outlook? Do you agree on the strategic plan? Do you have a alpha and a beta in the event of a disagreement?

Is it important that you see and think in the same way? Do you need another head for a different viewpoint and not the same as your own? What are you looking for in a partner? Do you know for certain what it is that you seek?

When looking for business partners it's prudent to be picky, it's smart business to play the dating game so to speak because you need to be able to work with them on a level of trust and familiarity that is intimate to a point that's on a par with your intimate relationship and or friendships. Flirt and be coy, show some leg to keep the interest but is it wise to go all the way on the first date? Would you, if you wanted to see that person again? Even if you would, is it a wise move?

You needn't be the best of friends but it helps, you needn't be in an intimate relationship because they could bring a whole different set of pitfalls as well as benefits. You needn't be related, but they can work as well as fail miserably.

The most important aspect of choosing partners is to take your time; if time is a luxury you do not have, then try to make time, buy time, stall for time, do whatever it takes to get comfortable and if your still not happy then do not be afraid to say no. Remember too that potential partners may stall you for time to weaken your position and test your resolve.

Maintain the integrity of identity and brand, be adaptable but don't dilute your offering, unless it's prudent to do so. Don't be too rigid but if your strategy is sound, your identity and reputation has been established and growing then don't risk damaging it by bringing weak links to the party. Ultimately, you are only as strong as your weak link.

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