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Partnerships are Messy

Partnerships are Messy

By: Ross Paterson

In small business, the words PARTNERS and PARTNERSHIPS are thrown around quite recklessly. The truth is these words have big, legal implications. I have been involved in many conversations between emerging ‘partners’; inevitably their definitions of the word are very different. Kind of like the difference between a friend and a spouse; big difference.

Here is the paradox; Partnerships are MESSY, and simultaneously POWERFUL. I am personally involved in a business partnership and several non-profit partnerships. Like a marriage they must begin with serious conversations and on going investment in three key areas.

1. Shared values and vision

2. Relationship Building

3. Well defined Roles, Responsibilities and Results

The strain on your partnership won’t come with average performance. Instead, when the business is failing or flying high, the cracks and gaps in the foundation will be exposed. Are Partnerships worth the risk? That question will spark a passionate debate.

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