partnerships represented by businesspeople happily shaking hands across a table

5 Tips for Developing Strategic Business Partnerships 

Partnerships in general are tricky for a number of different reasons. For starters, you may think that both parties want the same goal. But do they really? Are they trying to accomplish the same thing for two totally different reasons? Do they have two entirely different visions of what “success” looks like?

These are just a few of the questions that make any partnership complicated, to say nothing of how difficult things can quickly become when discussing the development of a strategic business partnership.

Here, two or more people are coming together to try to build something they care deeply about. Often, this is something that will, in theory, act as their legacy in the future. There are many, many opportunities for that to go wrong. This is why there are a number of key tips for developing strategic business partnerships that you should take advantage of at every opportunity.

Tip #1: Clearly Define the Partnership’s Objectives

A partnership can be defined as two or more people coming together to accomplish a shared goal. You and your partner both want to achieve success. Therefore, it stands to reason that you need to define what “success” looks like at the onset of your relationship.

You must define your overall objectives clearly and concisely prior to getting started. Only then will you be able to guarantee that your mutual goals are aligned. This will also help encourage open communication, which goes a long way toward building trust as well.

Tip #2: Conduct Thorough Due Diligence Before Forming a Partnership

Equally important is your ability to conduct thorough due diligence before formally forming your partnership. This isn’t unlike getting into a romantic relationship with someone. Before you do that, you naturally want to learn as much about them as possible to make sure you’re a good fit for one another. In this context, due diligence helps guarantee compatibility between two or more entities.

Make no mistake: Taking this simple step today will mitigate the lion’s share of the risks you will likely face down the road.

Tip #3: Prioritize the “Win-Win” Approach

As your partnership begins in earnest, you always want to remember that you should prioritize a “win-win” approach in all you do. It’s not enough for you to be satisfied; the same has to be true of your partner, or there was never a good reason for the two of you to come together in the first place.

Wholesale real estate is a good example of the importance of finding a mutually beneficial scenario. Here, the wholesale investor acts as a go-between for a seller and a buyer.

The seller gets to unload their property for a comfortable price. A buyer gets a property to do with as they see fit. The investor gets to make money. Everyone wins because the investor in the middle prioritized that from the outset. This is the same mentality you must have in every interaction with your strategic business partner.


Tip #4: Cultivate a Collaborative Culture

Again, a partnership is a two-way street. You’re not looking for someone who will fall in line behind you and follow orders. That’s not a partner; that’s an employee. You’re looking for someone who is an equal contributor. That means cultivating a culture that values collaboration above almost anything else.

The old saying “two heads are better than one” absolutely applies here. The more you’re willing to collaborate, the easier it is to innovate. Joint problem-solving also becomes easier as well. Both of these things are legitimate assets for a business on the rise.


Tip #5: Regularly Assess the Performance of the Partnership

You should also be regularly assessing not just your business’s performance but also your partnership’s performance. Over time, you would always want to check in and ensure your business was moving in the right direction. You would pour over KPIs and other performance data, making strategic adjustments along the way. You should put the same amount of effort into your partnership, too.

Make data-driven adjustments whenever possible to achieve success and maintain it. This is especially important in the dynamic business landscape we’re all a part of.

Finally, understand that strategic business partnerships are built on mutual trust, respect, and a willingness to change if necessary. That is to say, both parties must be willing to meet in the middle on certain issues. It’s not about getting someone to perfectly conform to your ideal future vision. It’s about coming together to form something more effective than either of you could create as individuals.

That requires a willingness to compromise and an ability to listen. Above all, it depends on your belief that the partnership is the most important ingredient to success in what you’re trying to accomplish. Your partner doesn’t work for you, they work with you. Don’t let yourself forget that.