Strategic Business Partnerships- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

March 25, 2010 at 3:52 pm 2 comments

I’ve just participated in a panel discussion on strategic partnerships – the good, the bad and the ugly.  The unanimous opinion of the panel was that the good is good, the bad is bad and the ugly can be much worse than bad. 

“I’m partnering with my best friend,” you might say. “What can go wrong?”

Whether it’s your best friend, sister-in-law, old fraternity brother or spouse, a business partnership is a thinking proposition.  A partner has the authority to make commitments and act in behalf of the business.  You might find yourself fully liable for debts or promises made by your partner, or responsible for the illegal acts of your partner.

What happens when a partnership is discontinued?  Every partnership comes to an end – someone moves away, or plans change, or someone dies.  Who gets what?  Who keeps the business name, or the website address? Who gets what clients?  Can one partner buy the other out?  And if so, at what price?

Talk about everything, agree on decisions and get them in writing, before  you get started and before you  have anything at stake. It’s amazing how people, in all honesty, have different recollections.  Plan and document an exit strategy for when (not if, but when!) your partnership is dissolved.  Whether you have a formal arrangement or an informal agreement for a limited project, know where you stand.

Today in business, working together is important.  There can be great synergies in combining resources. Be careful, be aware and be safe.


Entry filed under: business growth, Business growth: strategies & tools, Business Strategy, small business. Tags: , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brian Basilico  |  March 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I have to agree… Life is changing at a rapid pace for all and you have to be alert and protect yourself.


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