Originally posted on Entrepreneur website by Nadia Goodman, excerpts below:
In a tough economy, growing your business doesn’t have to involve costly new hires or expensive acquisitions. Instead, teaming up with another small business might be your best solution. Successful teaming relationships can help you gain experience, offer a more comprehensive service, or take on bigger contracts.
If you want to try teaming with another small business, here are six tips to ensure a successful relationship:
1. Be honest about your weaknesses. Before you enter a teaming relationship, assess your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Be open to teaming with competitors. Most businesses look for partners that offer a service they don’t, but your best asset may actually be your competition.
3. Set clear parameters at the beginning. At the outset, make sure your expectations are aligned. Agree on logistics, as well as a game plan for potential problems, such as a client who doesn’t pay or a dispute you can’t resolve. That preparation will give you a framework for resolving any issues down the line.
4. Keep written records of everything. To make sure everyone stays on the same page, write everything down. This doesn’t have to be arduous; it can be as simple as writing meeting notes and storing them in a shared Google document. The notes will clarify any confusion and give you a written record if anything goes awry.
5. Watch out for red flags. To vet potential partners, make sure they reply to emails in a timely fashion, arrive on time, and follow through. Ultimately, trust your gut, just as you would when hiring a new employee.
6. Be fair. Last but not least, always treat your teaming partner fairly. Your success is contingent on your ability to work together, so having their best interests at heart will serve you too.
Click HERE to read the entire article from the Entrepreneur website. Through the years, some of our most successful projects have been ones where we’ve partnered with other companies, BattleStations 21, VESSEL Game, and Spaceport America to name a few.