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Brett, a founder from San Francisco, writes: I need to partner up with other entities to support my housewares business. I’ve got a few options, but I’m cautious after hearing about failed partnerships. Any suggestions?

Successful partnerships with vendors, companies and investors come from building trusting relationships and doing your research. 

Partnerships are more than transactional interactions, they are relationships. It could take many months to build a trusting one, but it’s worth the wait. What kind of partnership would yield mutual benefit? Is the potential partner aligned with your mission and values? Will they work as a team or just be cogs in a machine? Would they agree to experiment with small batch orders or modest rounds of funding and work out the kinks before scaling up?

Next, do your research on a potential partner. Vet and vet some more. Go visit their factories and get references from customers. How responsive, collaborative and consistent is their communication? How do they behave with other customers in bad times? How did they stay operational during the pandemic?

Finding lasting partnerships is key to growing your business.

In business and in partnerships, mindful communication is everything. Have you a business relationship that could use a communication tune up? Contact me at [email protected] 

 

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