Tips For Building a Successful Business Partnerships and Client Relationships…

Successful partnerships are defined not by the height of their peaks but by how well the can weather the storms. The following are a few tips on how to keep a successful partnership going for all those involved…

Have Quarterly Partnership Meetings

There are many reasons why your partnership should be holding quarterly Meetings. Not only is it a great opportunity to celebrate the successes of the previous quarter, but such sessions also offer a chance to review the annual strategy and plan for the next quarter of the year. Quarterly meetings make you and your partners feel more motivated, focused, and in control. You will be all on the same page, know what you need to achieve, and have a plan to achieve it. It’s also a great way to reflect, celebrate and thank the team for all their hard work. No better way to celebrate that with some food, smoothies and the coffee at your event.

Then Meet Clients With Your Partner After the Meeting

On your quarterly meeting day after the Partnership Meeting, invite your clients and your team to a mobile espresso and smoothie bar get together an hour or so before quitting time at your office. This is a nice way of saying Thank You to all the folks that help make your business a success. Whether it is 20 or 100+ people, make it a celebration. Make it something to remember! 

The Partners Need To Share The Same Vision and Purpose

A partnership in a business is similar to a personal partnership. Both business and personal partnerships involve…

  • Pooling money toward a common purpose
  • Sharing individual skills and resources, and
  • Sharing in the ups and downs of profit and loss

The partners must have a strong set of values to overcome differences, if not they will be forced to work from one short-term agreement to the next. If the partners share the same purpose they will be able to think of bigger ideas, plans and investments. And if the partners have the same vision for a long term future they will have a clear picture of their business goal.

Types of Partners

Depending on the type of partnership and the levels of partnership hierarchy, a partnership can have several different types of partners. There are many levels of involvement in partnerships. Some members may be involved on a full time basis, some may only be contributing assets. There may be junior and senior partners. These partnership types may have different duties, responsibilities, and levels of input and investment requirements. Partners need to decide who is going to be working in the business and who is an outside adviser, and then compensate them appropriately based on market rates.

In Partnership, ‘Fair’ Doesn’t Always Mean ‘Equal’

In business partnerships, as in life, things are sometimes unfair and often unequal. Partners contribute to their company in different ways (inputs) and they may want to take out of the business in different ways (outputs) Many partnership make the mistake of try to make everyone equal. Calculate what people contribute to the business and share equity, rewards and cost accordingly. As time passes and people make additional contributions changes may have to be defined and updated.

Creating Roles and Guidelines In A Partnership

What role and responsibility will each of the partners have including operation, financial, sales, marketing, etc..? How will decisions be made and by whom? Is it by committee? Will each have certain level of decision making authority? Will the new process impair quick decision making? Will authority limits be defined, and processes and procedures put in place? What is the understanding if one of the partners wants out or wants more? What is the understanding if things go downhill/uphill? Defining roles and responsibilities are keys to the success of any business and it is twice as important in partnerships.

Defining Decision Making

One of the greatest challenges in maintaining a fruitful partnership is creating a system for effective decision making. To avoid confusion and conflict among partners, business decisions can be made by consensus, through a democratic process or by delegation.

  • Delegation– In businesses with large numbers of partners, delegation is often used to ensure decisions are made quickly and efficiently. Delegation is the process of deeming certain partners, committees, managers or long-term employees responsible for making certain decisions on behalf of the company.
  • Consensus – Under a consensus model, the process of decision making involves all partners in the business. Each partner has the opportunity to share their opinion on a decision and is tasked with presenting all advantages and disadvantages of the proposed decision.
  • Democratic – Decision making through the democratic process differs from the consensus model in that final decisions on a proposal are made by majority vote
    It is critical in all partnerships that defining how decisions will be made is key to a smooth operation.

Disagreement Is Inevitable

The one certainty with a business partnership, as with any close relationship, is that conflicts will arise. Learning how to handle conflicts with your business partners are so important. You must have a plan in place for what to do when you have an deadlock. For lower level decisions, you may agree that one partner will have the final say. For mid-level decisions, you might agree to bring things to a vote. For major issues, you can agree upfront to have a formal resolution process and use a mediator or an arbitrator. If for any reason you do have a deadlock situation it is wise for the partnership to have clear dissolution and buy out process.

Please keep Valet Coffee in mind when you are planning your next partner event! Specialty coffees and smoothies are always a hit and appreciated by guests.

Contact us (859-409-1628) for a free consultation!

logoAbout Valet Coffee

Valet Coffee is a full service, mobile espresso and smoothie bar. It’s a unique way to impress customers, appreciate employees and kick up any special event to the next level. Our professional baristas will bring the taste and feel of an authentic European coffee house. We do all the work, all you have to do is entertain. Valet Coffee’s mobile espresso and smoothie bars are one of Greater Cincinnati’s best marketing tools.
>> Learn More