You are a network marketer and you have a business partner. How do you make the business work and maintain a positive relationship at the same time? The following tips can certainly help!
Tip 1: Check your ego at the door.
Embracing exceptional ideas from your business partner often requires putting your ego in check. It is imperative not to forget that he/she may have equally valid points of view and life experiences that inform them on concepts, innovation developments, and strategies that can be an important part of the business decision-making process.
Example: Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard became close friends and started HP. They have similar strengths and managements styles; they complimented each other. As managers, Bill and Dave created a social, supportive work environment that contradicted the times. Even if they don’t see things eye-to eye, it was their innovative work ethic that enabled HP, its employees, and their business partnership to thrive.
Tip 2: Keep lines of communication open.
The openness that you share is a function of the respect you have for each other as business partners and friends. Better to be open and transparent than to be less than forthcoming on something as important as your business for the sake of the friendship.
Example: In a recent interview with Fox Business, New York-based pair Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp emphasised the importance of clear communication, hopes and expectations for their business Birchbox to each other. Only after they realised that they were on the same page, they decided to take things to the next level.
Tip 3: Designate one leader.
Occasionally an issue arises in which mutual consensus cannot be achieved. When this happens, it is important that the buck stop with one person’s decision. The leader must carefully weigh each point of view and counter opinions, and take a final decision based on what he or she thinks is best for the business partnership.
Example: Steve Woz explained, “I was just doing something I was very good at, and the thing that I was good at turned out to be the thing that was going to change the world… Steve Jobs was much more further-thinking. When I designed good things, he’d say, “We can sell this.” And we did. He was thinking about how you build a company, maybe even, “How do you change the world?”.
Tip 4: Don’t hold grudges.
It’s easy for grudges to develop and fester, hindering a business partnership from moving forward. Friends, like business partners, need to either move on or move out. It’s easier to move on when all friends/business partners learn from each other and the mistakes that they’ve made together.
This creates a stronger and more successful company, as well as a more healthy and transparent bond.
Example: Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in 1998. They met at Stanford’s PhD programme in 1995, and they bickered the entire time. Despite their quarrel, they bonded over their passion for data mining and grew to have similar visions for their company.
Tip 5: Build good companies like you build good friendships.
Good companies are built upon the same principles as good friendships: communication, collaboration and transparency. Just as friends value and respect each other’s personal interests, business partners must do the same: Putting company’s interests above their own.
Example: Networkers and friends, Vijay Eswaran and Joseph Bismark, were never satisfied with the ordinary, and loved the idea of shaking things up and designing their lives versus taking what is given. Their strong business partnership and steadfast friendship has built what is today known as The QI Group – a diversified multinational entity catering to varied businesses that include education, hospitality, direct selling, financial services and retail.