A partnership of any kind should be about mutual support and gain. It should be the very definition of a Win/Win Scenario. Sometimes this isn't as easy as it would seem. In business, cultivating a win/win partnership can be even more tricky.
Fran Tarkenton has some advice that just might help. And he's more than qualified to offer it. Though many of you may know him from his stint with either the Minnesota Vikings or New York Giants, Fran is also the founder of Tarkenton Companies, a suite of small business software and financial planning ventures based in Atlanta, GA.
He offers a few great tips when you're looking for potential partners to help your small business grow.
For one, don't be afraid of "selling out" to larger corporate partners. Honest Tea was bought by Coca-Cola back in 2011. However, Honest Tea is an autonomous partner, meaning they operate with minimal oversight from Coca-Cola. They get access to a massive distribution chain while Coca-Cola gets to improve it's image as a sustainable brand.
As Fran points out, other partnerships aren't as smooth. A second piece of advice is to be wary of the line between mutual self-interest and selfishness. In the case of Citibank and Motivate. Their partnership, Citi Bike, is faltering. Motivate is having financial troubles. But Citibank has no real reason to bail them out. That was never a part of their partnership, and even as Motivate falters, Citibank is able to cash in on the brand equity provided by Motivate and the Citi Bike program.
When it comes right down to it, the key is to remember that a partnership is a relationship between people. As Fran says, "I've sat down with prominent executives who pledged to help grow my business through a partnership. They had plenty of prestige and resources. Despite that, there were time when I heard them out and walked away, because our underlying values and mission in business simply didn't align."
To read the full article check out https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/small-business-advice-how-to-strike-and-sustain-a-successful-business-partnership/2015/02/03/c72cafb0-abd8-11e4-9c91-e9d2f9fde644_story.html