No business achieves success alone. Every business needs partners, customers, vendors, and suppliers to make their business flourish. Finding the right business partnerships can be the difference between success and disaster. So, taking the time to do the proper research and due diligence is key to long-term and mutually beneficial relationships.
So, how do you select the best business partners?
First, research is critical. There are many methods you can employ to research possible partners. Just go to Google or any other search engine and you can find tons of information on any subject, company, or organization. Google even provides you with alternative search ideas so you are not just limited to the parameters of your own thought processes. Google will guide you to additional information on companies such as, public forums, reviews, and scams. All very important information to obtain in your initial research.
No organization wants to unknowingly align with a business partner that is not above board on every possible level. Professionals and consultants who look to align with Resource Associates Corporation use these information sources as a way to make sure we are who we say we are, and we applaud them for taking those steps.
However, research is only the first step. If your research proves positive, we recommend taking some additional steps to ensure you are partnering with the best organization.
Schedule a face-to-face meeting with the leadership team of your potential partner and get to know their people. The reason we prefer face-to-face is you can learn so much about the values of an organization by simply visiting their physical location and observing their site and team members first hand. If face-to-face is not possible, perhaps a webinar or a conference call including all of the necessary members of both teams will work.
No matter the format of your discussion consider generating dialog that will help answer some of these important questions:
- What can they contribute to your organization that you currently need and vice versa? (Mutual contribution is critical to a successful partnership.)
- What business systems and processes do they have that will benefit your organization?
- What is their best attribute, service, product, etc.?
- Are they authentic and do they operate with integrity?
- What makes them as committed to a partnership as you would be?
- Do they have any attributes you don’t like and can you live with them?
- Do they keep and honor their commitments?
- Do their company’s values mirror your company’s value?
Finally, confirm all of your research by asking for two to three references. References are a great way to ask other partners of the organization about what their experience has been with this organization. You may want to weave in the eight questions from above into your conversation to confirm the true value of this future business partnership.
Scams, bad business decisions, and ineffective partnerships have no place in successful business and they can be avoided. Good decisions and successful partnerships are based on research, due diligence, and solid information. What can you do to put a process in place within your organization that will ensure sound decisions and powerful partnerships?