Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Business Courtship

Doing business is like courtship. You must be able to find the right partner in order for your business to grow. Finding the right partner is often the difference between a successful venture or being part of the 95% of businesses that fail in the first few years.

Let me illustrate...

In courtship there are several levels, the first level is the getting to know you phase. Once they see that they are compatible with each other, then comes the second stage; the exclusivity stage. They don't see nor go out with other people. Then after awhile, the engagement stage. This is the stage where they plan to take their relationship to the next level. Lastly, the final stage or marriage.

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Now, let us apply this to the business world.

Stage 1. Getting to know you phase.

Entrepreneurs love to share their ideas. They love talking about the things they want to do and plan to do, hence, they have the capability to convince others to join their cause. Entrepreneurs are usually gifted communicators.

During this phase, entrepreneurs meet and talk to a lot of people. These people either buy in to the idea or not. Those who buy in, talk to the entrepreneur and discuss the possible scenarios. The entrepreneur and prospective partner try to feel each other out. They find out whether a possible working relationship will prosper or not. This is where entrepreneurs find investors or other partners to help him grow his business.

Stage 2. Exclusively dating.

The moment that they see that they can have a pretty harmonious working relationship, they begin to work on and improve the business. They talk about how they will realize the business. Other ideas or proposals may be coming in, but they just focus on making the business come true. Others are just a distraction.

They are laying the foundation of the business on this stage of the courtship.

Stage 3. Engagement.

During this part of the courtship process, both the entrepreneurs and the partner are laying the groundwork of the business. They get the necessary documentation and permits, they make sure that operations will run smoothly as possible. This can either be long engagement or a short-one. If the business, marketing and financial plans have been made on Stage 2, this will be a short engagement.

Stage 4. Marriage.

This is where the tire hits the road, so to speak. The entrepreneur and the partner finally start the business. They hire the people who believe in their cause (their children) and work towards the goals that they have agreed upon. But just like a real marriage, a business partnership will also experience rocky and tumultuous moments. Yet, there will also be victories and triumphs!

The key to maintaining a good business relationship, just like in marriage, is mutual respect. Understand that each individual is unique. Staying true to the vision and mission will be the key to a long, lasting and successful partnership.