Business Partnerships: from Notes to Contracts

In the information age, people think that Social Media networking and Facebook friends are all it takes to find proper business partners. Yes, often this is the right approach to boost your odds, but nothing can replace genuine interpersonal ties. Posts and likes do not matter as much as warm words and long conversations face-to-face. Trust cultivates meaningful relationships and it is still a milestone for successful business partnerships.

 

On The Same Page

Many successful companies, like Apple and Twitter, have been established by multiple founders nurturing strong relationships. They are often classmates and long-time friends, and their combined skills and expertise was a decisive factor in getting the business off the ground. Now many are proud owners or leaders in some of the most successful business enterprises of our time. Sergey Brin and Larry Page met at Stanford and, despite initial disagreements, went on to found the mighty Google. Steve Wozniak's technical ingenuity paired with Steve Job's business vision laid foundations for one of the greatest corporations of today. Bill Gates and Paul Allen were childhood friends who shared a love for computers and talent for entrepreneurship.

 

Dual Tracks

These examples show that time spent during studies is invaluable for future prospects. Young minds that think alike can learn a lot from one another. It is in the university halls and classrooms that many students learn how to cooperate and stay on the same page. Amassing business contacts on LinkedIn may support your business efforts, but it will not get you a business partner for life. That can only be achieved by dealing in person, with people you know and have come to trust. Such an experience is not as easy to forget as regular commenting and discussions on Social Media. Moreover, it can help you climb up the career ladder and acquire new business opportunities.

 

Double-Edged Sword

As we all know, the path to success is long and full of pitfalls. A mixture of business partnerships and friendships can be a volatile one, and many are those who terminated both. It is not easy to strike a fine balance, and enable the long-term personal and business growth at the same time. Partners represent the company but they are also humans with interests, whims and wants. Thus, operating on dual tracks can lead to some serious disagreements. It is necessary to recognise your own limitations and value the contributions of other parties. Communication works both ways, or it does not work at all. It usually improves after time and with constant practice, which is paramount in order to avoid all hiccups.

 

Are We Humans Or Are We Profiles?

Keeping hundreds of people in your digital orbit is just fine, but you will not build deep and trusting relationships that way. You need to get to know the human behind the profile picture in order to team up with them. Finding your ultimate business match is much easier if you have a classmate or good friend with similar ambitions. Duos whose relationship has been forged by years of academic and life challenges have already changed the world and shown us the way.

 

How do you work on forging strong business partnerships? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

 

Isla Wright

Guest Author: Isla Wright is a tech-savvy psychology professor, who considers herself more of a student since she is constantly in the process of learning. Although she lives and works in Darwin, Isla spends every minute travelling and getting to know new people and new cultures. She combines her love of technology, teaching and travelling with her work. The small amount of free time that she has is reserved for her family and her yoga classes, which she says keep her centred.