Building a Successful Business Partnership: 10 Key Questions to Ask

Joining forces with another company can be an extremely effective way to accelerate growth, tap into new markets and expertise, and gain an edge over competitors. However, entering into any kind of business partnership requires thoughtful planning and preparation. Rushing into a partnership without asking the right questions upfront can result in conflicts down the road, unmet expectations, cultural clashes, and other challenges that may jeopardize the success of the collaboration.

Starting a business partnership can be an exciting but challenging journey. To set your partnership up for success, there are some important questions you and your potential partner should discuss upfront. Here are

10 key questions to cover:

  1. Do we share the same values and vision? Making sure you’re aligned on core values and long-term goals is crucial for a strong foundation.
  2. What unique strengths do we each bring? Look for complementary skills and expertise that will allow you to innovate and problem-solve together.
  3. How will we make decisions and resolve conflicts? Agree on processes for making choices together and addressing disputes in a constructive manner.
  4. What are our financial expectations? Discuss investment, profit-sharing, costs and other money matters openly and transparently.
  5. How could this impact our cultures and employees? Consider potential changes thoughtfully and communicate with staff.
  6. What’s our exit strategy? Though not fun to discuss, having a plan for dissolving the partnership amicably is wise.
  7. How will we handle intellectual property and shared assets? Clarify ownership and rights related to IP and other joint resources.
  8. How can we communicate and collaborate effectively? Set expectations for regular check-ins and open dialogue.
  9. How will we track success? Define metrics aligned with your goals to gauge progress and identify areas for improvement.
  10. What potential risks or external factors should we be aware of? Analyze the competitive landscape and possible challenges you may face.

Starting a partnership is an exciting opportunity, but also a big decision. Asking thoughtful questions upfront can set you up for shared success. Above all, focus on open communication, transparency and mutual understanding.

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