Every single business, in order to be successful is required to have contact with the world. In this process, both the entrepreneur and his company will eventually have contact with other people and other organizations, many of them becoming what can be called as Business Partners. As free willing individuals, we have the power to decide, to some extent, who we want to have as Business Partners and who we want to keep away. This is not always possible, but in some areas it is, such as choosing the persons who will be your partners or associates in the making of this business.
When we talk about Business Partners it is possible to classify them in two large groups. On the first group you’ll find those who are required to make the business work and you have little or no control over deciding who they are. For instance, most businesses will be required to have at least one Business Partner in the government, such as the agency that collects taxes. In the US, this relation is with the IRS. If for instance, you are working in a controlled sector, such as health or finance, you will probably have as business partners the agencies that control these sectors. Also, you’ll probably have to open a bank account, so a relationship has to be built with a bank. In this case you might be able to decide which bank, but at the end is a type of relation that you must acquire.
The second group of relationship is those that are optional. To start, you might want to decide who your clients are. If you’re selling goods, such as food, you might say you’re not willing to deal with large retailers such as Walmart because of their strict paying policies. Although by this decision you can be losing market share, it’s a personal decision you’re entitled to do. Also if you sell services you can take decisions such as refusing to work for governmental entities.
One of the aspects where you can decide to a big extent who to work with is when deciding your entrepreneur colleagues, associates or partners. This is the people who will be co-owners of your Business project. When I started my Business Project 10 years ago, I decided I wanted to work with several friends I had in the University. It was a conscious decision, where you could say I recruited people I trusted and with whom I was confortable working with.
When building your associates group, you have to be very careful. To start with, this people will walk the walk with you. You have to trust them in their personal and professional qualities. Sometimes they will make mistakes and so will you, so the relationship has to be rock solid. When you succeed they will succeed; when they fail, you will fail. And this works vice versa.
If everything goes right, you’ll be sharing with these people for many years to come. They will become part of your family with the advantage you were able to choose them. So if you’re working with someone that irritates you, which gets into your nerves, then this person is probably better off not being your partner.
There’s one type of Business Partners that must be talked about: investors. If you are able to acquire Venture Capital or some other type of direct funding, you’ll probably have as a Partner someone whose sole trait is possessing money and believing in your ideas. This is a special kind of person and is someone who will be in your face, demanding results. If things don’t go the right way, it will be very difficult getting rid of this person. For starters, it will probably take a large amount of money and paying several penalties. So if you ran into this opportunity, understand that the investor is choosing you, but you’re also choosing the investor. Again, if you don’t feel the investor is right for you, don’t go ahead.
This is the basic scenery. In some areas and to some extent, you’ll be able to choose who your business partners are. If you are able to choose, be very picky and strict in your decision making process. Make this choosing something fun and keep in mind that by doing this, you are creating the bases to either be successful or a failure in your business.
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