What Makes a Good Business Partner?


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What Makes a Good Business Partner?

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What Makes a Good Business Partner?

To provide valuable insights on what makes a good business partner, we asked 11 top executives and business leaders to share the most important characteristics or attributes they appreciate in their partners. From dedication to growth and improvement to trust as the foundation of partnership, discover the essential qualities these professionals value in their business relationships.

  • Dedication to Growth and Improvement
  • Strong Integrity to Uphold Values
  • Importance of Open Communication
  • Demonstrates Resilience in Difficult Times
  • Winning Combination of Complementary Skillsets
  • Healthy Conflict and Decision-Making
  • Partnership With Diversity of Thought
  • Predictability and Open to Collaboration
  • Balance of Expertise and Commitment
  • Proactive Attitude for Enjoyable Collaboration
  • Trust Forms the Partnership Foundation

Dedication to Growth and Improvement

A good business partner should possess a consistent drive and willingness to learn and improve their skills and knowledge. This is because businesses constantly develop, and having a partner dedicated to growth ensures they can keep up with the changes and take advantage of new opportunities.

A committed business partner takes ownership of tasks and works tirelessly toward the business’s success. They inspire trust, encourage transparency, and are always prepared to go the extra mile. This shared commitment to growth has enabled us to stay ahead of the curve, adapt to market changes, and constantly improve our platform to serve our users better.

Gary GrayGary Gray
CFO, CouponChief.com

Strong Integrity to Uphold Values

One of the most important qualities of a successful business partner is integrity. A person with strong integrity upholds their values and principles, no matter the situation.

They are honest, which helps build strong relationships with stakeholders and partners. In business, having a partner who has integrity can help ensure that decisions are made and actions taken with the best interests of everyone involved in mind.

Scott OrnScott Orn
Chief Operating Officer, Kruze Consulting

Importance of Open Communication

For making any business partnership work, it all begins with open communication. If there’s one thing that you need to get right, it’s this. And if you don’t have a good line of communication with your business partner, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

It’s important to be upfront and honest about your expectations of the partnership and how each of you prioritizes the tasks at hand. The best partners are those who discuss ideas openly and aren’t afraid to voice their opinions when necessary. It’s also important that you agree on how conflicts will be handled and how decisions will be made.

Personally, I value my business partner’s strong communication skills as it strengthens our partnership and contributes to the overall success of our company. It allows us to align our goals, exchange ideas, and make informed decisions together.

Paw VejPaw Vej
Chief Operating Officer, Financer.com

Demonstrates Resilience in Difficult Times

A good business partner must be resilient. When starting a business, the business will face periods of difficulty, and it is vital for the health of the company and the relationship between business partners that both individuals are resilient and stay persistent.

Resilience allows for better communication as well, as business partners will be more receptive to criticism and be better equipped to use that criticism constructively.

And it will help maintain a good work balance between business partners: if one partner feels overloaded, the other resilient partner can help them with their work without making it an issue of fairness.

Julia KowalskiJulia Kowalski
Marketing Specialist, Achievable

Winning Combination of Complementary Skillsets

I think one of the big reasons my business partner and I work well together is that we bring complementary sets of skills to our business. I bring deep technical experience to our enterprise.

My partner brings strategic brilliance and true wisdom. This is great for our venture. He doesn’t let day-to-day work impede our long-term goals. It’s great to work with someone with that much vision.

Temmo KinoshitaTemmo Kinoshita
Co-founder, Lindenwood Marketing

Healthy Conflict and Decision-Making

At Ingredient Brothers, an aspect of healthy conflict is common, especially between my co-founder, Aalap Patel, and me. However, we follow established frameworks for transparent discussions but rely on a final decision-maker, sometimes me and sometimes him, or neither of us.

It all depends on the circumstances. We’ve learned that success lies in maximizing what we have, even if it’s not ideal, as a business doesn’t always operate as a democracy when striving to progress.

Eran MizrahiEran Mizrahi
CEO and Founder, Ingredient Brothers

Partnership With Diversity of Thought

We all want to work with our best friend—that’s the dream of entrepreneurship. But it comes with a caveat:

Homogeneity can stunt growth.

In an ideal world, your business partner is someone with whom you can—and do—disagree. Sharing opinions keeps things easy, but often leads to stagnation. A multitude of perspectives‌ helps keep everyone thinking outside the box. Strive for this kind of diversity of thought: it may be a little more difficult, but well worth it in the long term, because debate and discussion are key to well-rounded development.

Travis HannTravis Hann
Partner, Pender & Howe

Predictability and Collaboration

A good business partner‌ is someone without a ton of surprises hiding in the wings. Your business partner should be someone with whom you can put your head down, come up with a plan and execution strategy, agree on roles, and then move forward.

You want to live in each other’s heads, and your partner should always know what you are going to think or do about a particular set of circumstances. And vice versa, of course.

Onno HalsemaOnno Halsema
CEO, Contentoo

Balance Expertise and Commitment

I’ve started various businesses, sometimes solo, sometimes with partners. These experiences have crystallized what makes an excellent partner for me.

The right number of partners is paramount. Typically, that’s two. It can be three, but any more leads to a cacophony of conflicting priorities and personalities.

Their area of expertise should not overlap with yours. Mutual exclusivity allows you to focus on your strengths without stepping on each other’s toes.

You and your partner should collectively possess the skills every business needs. This includes sales, R&D, and deep knowledge about your industry.

Next, commitment is crucial. Businesses take time, and there will be bumps. Partners who understand the grind and have the financial resilience to weather lean times are priceless.

Finally, deep respect for your partner’s capabilities. I only want to work with those who excel in their respective areas. If there’s doubt, it’s best not to move forward!

Rafael Sarim ÖzdemirRafael Sarim Özdemir
Founder and CEO, Zendog Labs

Proactive Attitude for Enjoyable Collaboration

A proactive attitude is a characteristic I appreciate the most in a business partner. Collaboration with such people is likely to be not only successful but also enjoyable.

Things don’t happen by themselves. Proactive business partners don’t wait for instructions or rely solely on others to drive progress. Instead, they identify opportunities, solve problems, and put plans into action. These self-starters are attentive, involved in everything related to the business, and eager to contribute to the partnership. Moreover, their goal-oriented mindset can inspire others, boosting the business’ overall performance.

Last but not least, business partners with a proactive approach don’t shy away from difficulties, but view them as opportunities for growth and improvement. They also learn from their mistakes and treat them as valuable lessons for the future.

Agata SzczepanekAgata Szczepanek
Community Manager, MyPerfectResume

Trust Forms the Partnership Foundation

One of the top characteristics that I often value in a business partner is trustworthiness. This is also the most important trait needed in my profession as the President of a leading transcription services company. Our clients value us as we value their confidentiality the most. And, this is what I appreciate the most in a business partner.

Trust forms the foundation of any successful partnership. When you trust your business partner, it means you have confidence in their abilities, judgment, and integrity. Trust allows for open and honest communication, which is essential for resolving conflicts, making joint decisions, and achieving shared goals.

A trustworthy business partner is someone who keeps their promises and follows through on their commitments. You can rely on them to meet deadlines, fulfill their obligations, and contribute their fair share to the partnership. When trust exists between business partners, it creates a supportive and collaborative growing environment.

Beth WorthyBeth Worthy
President, GMR Transcription Services, Inc.

Submit Your Answer

Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “What makes a good business partner? Please share the top characteristic or attribute that you appreciate in your business partner.”

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