Women and business partnership – the good, the bad and the synergy

Women and business partnership – the good, the bad and the synergy

Women and business partnership – the good, the bad and the synergy

Team sports prepare boys for the corporate business model. Girls, however, usually play closely with one or two friends. What a great preparation for an entrepreneurial partnership! So it’s fitting that, as women continue to start businesses in record numbers, many are finding partnership a convenient format. In fact, the business partnership works for women coming from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, including those tired of hitting the corporate glass ceiling, stay-at-home moms, and women who want to turn their passions and social connections into business ideas.

A partnership brings a wide variety of benefits, including a sense of connectedness and someone to cover when you go on holiday. On the other hand, many partnerships end in crisis and conflict. To avoid partnership failure, your partnership must possess the following seven components of a positive partnership.

Shared values. Partners need a sense of shared standards regarding what is desirable, undesirable, good, and bad. These values ​​will guide the partners’ actions, judgments and choices. Values, which often carry significant emotion, can range from valuing family, prosperity, ambition, work ethic, or political beliefs. In addition to helping partners make compatible decisions, shared values ​​serve to keep partners united.

Different (complementary) skills and traits. Successful partners will possess different (complementary) skills and traits. The wider the range of partners’ skills, the clearer their division of labor (and power) can be. It may be easy to distinguish the marketing person from the technical person in the business, but other necessary variables are often not so easy to consider. Michael Gerber’s classic book The E-Myth explains that a business owner must play three roles: Entrepreneur – the creative visionary; Manager, the administrator who brings planning, order and predictability; and Technician – the craftsman. Partnerships have a distinct advantage in that two or more invested people are available to fulfill the three necessary roles.

A sense of justice. Equity occurs when the rewards of a relationship are proportional to what each party perceives as their contribution. Strangers and casual acquaintances maintain fairness by keeping track of the benefits they exchange. However, in long-term and more committed relationships it is not healthy to follow. Instead, a sense of justice must be created. The feeling of unfairness (I give more than I get) has a huge impact on the partnership.

Let’s grow together. From the moment we are born until the day we die, we are in the process of growing and changing. Partners and their partnerships are constantly going through this process of change. However, we are often not aware of the changes we are experiencing. And sometimes change is seen as a threat to the status quo. Successful partners embrace change and growth, knowing that this attitude benefits both their individual and shared professional identities.

Proactive conflict management strategies. Competing and avoiding are not effective conflict management strategies for partnership. Instead, successful partners will use proactive and strategic conflict management approaches such as accommodation, compromise, and cooperation to resolve their differences.

A shared vision. Partners need a shared vision or plan for the future. Vision is what defines and expresses where an organization wants to go and how it intends to get there. A shared vision allows partners to focus on their goals and the methods they will use to achieve those goals. When partners have different visions, they become discouraged, overwhelmed and disconnected. Creating and effectively capitalizing on a shared vision requires four tasks: creating the initial vision, translating that vision into the necessary physical actions, articulating and selling the vision to others, and sticking to the essence of the vision when reality changes plans.

Exit strategy. It has been said that a graceful exit is evidence of a successful venture. Without an exit strategy in place, partners may be faced with making critical decisions at a time when they were least balanced. An exit strategy is a shared sense of when and how an alliance will end and should be included as an end point in a business plan. However, while planning for the end may be a critical aspect of owning a business, it is also one of the most overlooked. Exits are easy to avoid when the issue is not pressing and raising the issue could sour the deal or suggest a lack of trust. Four questions should be considered when considering an exit plan: what events might trigger the end of the partnership; how the business will ultimately be valued; which future ownership options are acceptable; and what post-merger covenants and restrictions, such as non-competition clauses, should be included.

When you enter into a partnership that is strong in these seven components, you have the potential to create synergy and reap incredible benefits. True synergy occurs when two (or more) people work together to create results that would be unachievable individually. In a synergistic partnership, 2+2>4 and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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