Don’t Pick Your Business Partners Based on Personal Chemistry
Having a good personal rapport with someone can help you see opportunities for working together, but chemistry is a poor foundation for business deals. Partnerships need to face tough analytical and legal questions before they happen. That may seem like bad relationship manners, but it’s good business practice. Serious business partners will respect your due diligence. Start by evaluating the partner’s resources and capabilities. Legal clauses seldom protect against partners simply not having what you thought they did. Next, explore options with other potential partners. Is the partner you have in mind really your best bet? Once you move forward, protect yourself by building in concrete mechanisms for joint governance. You want to trust your partners, but do so only after properly structuring the relationship. And after the deal is signed, don’t be surprised if your partners pursue their interests and use their leverage. It’s not disloyal. It’s good business.