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Work: It’s Better When You Buddy-Up

Crafting a great partnership with somebody else is something that takes a lot of time and work. But at the root of all great partnerships are shared goals.

Most partnerships are developed over an extended period of time. They start off small, and then they blossom into something high-effective and profitable.

Here is some advice for creating a meaningful, long-term partnership.

Discover Your Strengths And Weaknesses

The best partnerships are those where both people have complementary skills. One person might be really good at writing and tech, the other person at sales and meeting new people. Bringing together these different skills sets helps you to become a more successful unit. Unsuccessful business partnerships are often those where both people have the same strengths and weaknesses and are unable to complement each other.

Stephen Key, a man who went into a partnership over 16 years ago to start a business, says that people shouldn’t be afraid to rely on their trading partners. After all, that’s what they’re there for.

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Put Things In Writing

It’s a good idea at the outset of a partnership to get everything in writing. One of the things you’ll need to get in writing is the insurance you’ll need. Ellis Whittam, a consulting firm, says that limited liability partnerships still need employer’s liability insurance, even if they aren’t employing anybody else. You’ll also want to do things like define your individual roles so that you know who is supposed to be doing what. If a partner isn’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, you can always refer to the written agreement.

Don’t Let Discontent Fester

Partnerships aren’t always happy-go-lucky experiences. Instead, they can turn sour, especially if one party thinks that they’re getting screwed over by the other. The best way around this, according to Key, is to prioritize airing your grievances. You should let them out, he says, before things get blown out of proportion. Say what you need to say and move on.

Support Each Other

Effective partnerships are all about mutual support. The data show that startups founded by partners actually survive much longer than startups founded by lone individuals. The reason for this is believed to be because founders in partnerships are able to share the load and the stress, as well as be there to motivate each other to succeed. Key says that life early on in a partnership is tough. You’ll often find yourself working late and at weekends. But if you’ve got somebody with you to help you see it through, things are a lot easier. If you’re finding yourself wishing that your partner was ill, something has gone terribly wrong in your relationship.

Admit Mistakes Quickly

If there’s one thing that partners don’t like, it’s calling you out on your mistakes. It’s stressful and something that few people want to do. It’s far better to be open and honest when you mess up. Take on full responsibility for your action, admit you made a mistake and move on.

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