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How do I assess a person for a business partnership?


Anchal Srivastava, Nidhi Joshi, Priya Bansal, Business Planning, Money Management, Customer Service, Staffing, Operations and Commerce, Selling, Workplace Inclusivity, Workplace Productivity, Employee Management, Career Development, Customer Engagement, Website, Branding, User Experience, Introduction to Digital Marketing, Advanced Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Tracking and Analysis, Mobile App Development and Promotion, Market Research, Agency Management, Video Marketing, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Zeyka, Zeyka India

Selecting the perfect person from a list of business partners is like choosing your life partner. They must command trust, high ethical and moral standards of running a business. They should showcase dexterity in their field of expertise and should have a good track record of demonstrating success. Combining your skills with your purpose will lead to a more meaningful and substantial career.


You must question your work relationship with your selected potential business partners. Make an honest list of pros and cons if you have to. Running a business means spending long hours building it, every day for years. Even in the face of hurdles like a pandemic or a better job, you cannot abandon your company. This opinion must be shared equally by your partner. Be sure this is not a secondary option for both of you, even if life throws other opportunities at you. This partner must be a close acquaintance in your life. They should be your closest confidant for major aspects and decisions in your life. Needless to say, you should enjoy spending time with them.


So, now the question is how much do you trust them? Their way of operating, their ethics on sensitive matters like law, compliance, and handling finances. Without faith, it will be hard to make decisions together and you might question their commitment at times. Your work style and behaviour must complement each other. One's approach to small tasks, negotiations, plans, and communication are the small details that people might overlook. But these can be a deal-breaker over a period of time. Remember, you are in this for the long haul.

Anchal Srivastava, Nidhi Joshi, Priya Bansal, Business Planning, Money Management, Customer Service, Staffing, Operations and Commerce, Selling, Workplace Inclusivity, Workplace Productivity, Employee Management, Career Development, Customer Engagement, Website, Branding, User Experience, Introduction to Digital Marketing, Advanced Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Tracking and Analysis, Mobile App Development and Promotion, Market Research, Agency Management, Video Marketing, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Zeyka, Zeyka India

Benny has a flexible work style and usually starts his day late. Benny’s partner Neha is his school friend, while Vaishali’s partner is her elder sister Ruby; she has an MBA from a prestigious institute. Vaishali, Ruby and Neha all prefer a fixed schedule and start their morning by hitting the gym, meditating and cycling, respectively. They are all very punctual with their daily schedules, which works perfectly for Vaishali. But Benny and Neha realised that this might cause conflict while collaborating. They had to work out a solution without making the task tedious. But, opposite working styles do not always mean it will lead to conflict. With communication and understanding, different work styles can become complimentary, like it happened for Benny and Neha. They created different ways of collaboration for all employees and other stakeholders to form a healthier work culture. Thus, it comes down to how business partners communicate their differences and needs to each other. Constant dialogues, compromises, and openness are a part of any partnership. Both should be willing to accept consistent feedback and critique their ideas and work style.

Anchal Srivastava, Nidhi Joshi, Priya Bansal, Business Planning, Money Management, Customer Service, Staffing, Operations and Commerce, Selling, Workplace Inclusivity, Workplace Productivity, Employee Management, Career Development, Customer Engagement, Website, Branding, User Experience, Introduction to Digital Marketing, Advanced Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Tracking and Analysis, Mobile App Development and Promotion, Market Research, Agency Management, Video Marketing, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Zeyka, Zeyka India

The last point of consideration is the vision. An aligned long-term vision and strategy for the firm and its future are critical for a successful company. They ensure that the partnership does not weaken over time when everything else seems to be moving smoothly. Pivotal matters like finances must be clear and on paper. Greed kills over 95 per cent of the companies in their initial years. One must be careful that such trivial issues do not derail the company.


Since it is a partnership, the company and its vision belong to all the partners and is extended to the stakeholders. The definition of success and failure should be similar for everyone. This allows everyone to set common goals and purposes in their work-life and prevents let-downs on major decisions along the journey. Benny wanted to focus on selling his artwork, but Neha saw an opportunity to onboard other artists in design to begin consulting practice for the company. It was a real moment of conflict that required them to pivot their business idea and work through it. One thing that helped them arrive at a common point was their dedication to their own passions. If they were proposing their ideas for different purposes, say, Benny for the passion of art, and Neha for more revenue, the partnership would have failed. But both had a common goal and the company’s best interest in mind. So they were able to discuss their ideas and began consulting.


Now, you understand that choosing a business partner requires empathy. Understanding their personality and motivations matters. Be kind, be grateful, and be gentle.


Next time we’ll talk about how to structure the partnership you have created and give it shape.



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About the Writer

Anchal Srivastava is an architect, urban planner, writer, researcher and scholar. She is a certified GIS specialist from IIRS, ISRO, Dehradun. She is a graduate of the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi and Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University (APJAKTU), Uttar Pradesh. She has experience working at the Town and Country Planning Organisation Delhi, Jabalpur Smart City Limited, Suresh Goel & Associates (SGA), APS Green Architects & Associates, and as the head architect at SSAP and Shantiniketan Buildtech Pvt. Ltd.


About the Editor

Nidhi Joshi is a writer, architect and artist. She experiments with art, calligraphy and all things Interior Design. She is a graduate of the Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Architecture, Mumbai. She has experience interning at PG Patki Architects.


About the Illustrator

Priya Bansal is an architect and a generalist, currently based out of Delhi NCR. She is a graduate of the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Bhopal. She has experience working with Studio Juggernaut.

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