How to Turn a Business Date into a Successful Partnership

Here are six tips to turn great expectations into a successful business partnership.

4. Deliver the goods.

Once you receive the green light to partner-up on a new project, with an investor or joint venture — do one simple thing and do it well. Deliver the goods.

If another company invests time and energy into coupling their efforts with yours there was something about your pitch that sealed the deal. Never disappoint. While plenty of variables will be out of your control, be methodical about carrying out “the terms” and impacting what you can control.

If you set a specific shipping schedule – come rain, snow or Armageddon, do your best to follow through. Failed partnerships are often due to a continuous failure and lack of consideration when delivering on details — the small things.

5. Don’t think you’re irreplaceable.

Once you start dating a potential business partner, land a new deal or invest in a strategic partner it’s easy to start thinking that you’re irreplaceable. This simply isn’t the case.

If you are cognizant of your new partner’s value, it’s highly likely that others in the market are too. Never take business relationships for granted. Get too comfortable and you could end up “rolling in the deep” as, English singer-songwriter and musician, Adele puts it.

6. Don’t overlook the under dog.

At times, many great partnership opportunities are overlooked. It’s easy to discount a company that seemingly doesn’t have the potential to partner with yours. But don’t judge a book by its cover too quickly. Every great thing started small. The future value of a prospective partnership can outweigh the present day situation of any company.

They call it a comeback.

“Few brand comeback stories are as legendary as that of Apple. The computer company experienced a positive consumer response in the 1980s, but floundered in the 1990s and saw its market value plummet. That changed in 1997, when Steve Jobs, the ousted co-founder of the company, returned in an advisory capacity.” It’s hard to imagine that the most valuable brand in the world — was once not so valuable.

“Marvel has published comic books since the 1930s … In that time, Marvel experienced multiple periods of decline and rebirth, but things looked their most grim when the company filed for bankruptcy protection in the late 1990s. In 1997, the parent company, Marvel Entertainment Group, merged with the toy company Toy Biz to form Marvel Enterprises. This led to an era in which Marvel characters were the subjects of massively profitable film franchises and worldwide box office hits.”

These examples, and many more, are a testament to the fact — what was once an under dog can easily lead the pack.

The next time you’re out on a business date, keep these things in mind and you could land a successful partnership that will yield dividends for years to come.

Connect with Erica on Twitter.

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Photo: Pull & Bear


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