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How to Attract a Successful Business Partner

It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.

This week, I asked my friends a question about partnerships.

“My friends, if you are a contributor on Expert Briefs, it is assumed you have reached a certain level of success in your businesses.

So, my question is ‘What can someone possibly do or offer that would entice you into a business partnership at this stage?”

I think you'll enjoy the responses.

Kevin Riley of  Blogpreneur Training says:

I rarely partner with anyone, but have on a few small projects. Those projects were done with someone I fully trusted to pull their own weight – and that's a super important point. Most partnerships I've seen fail, do so because one partner was not doing their fair share of the work.

For a partner project to work well, all the responsibilities need to be well defined at the beginning, and each partner must be fully accountable for their tasks. If I were to partner with someone on a project, I need to know first of all that they can be relied upon to complete their assigned tasks within a specified time period.

So, would I partner with someone now? And what would it take to partner with me?

As I'm busily embarking on a new business, the openings in my schedule for another project are few; however, if an interesting project presented itself (and as a partner I'd only need to dedicate half as much time to the project) I could be tempted – if the project would fit into my present business model and focus at Kevin Riley Publishing (since the new business is all in Japanese, I doubt anyone would want to partner on a project for it).

In a potential partnership, there are a few things that would need to be met. First off, I need to know that the potential partner is reliable – has a good track record for completion, has a good reputation online, etc. And, since my main interest in a project is the creation of the product, I would be more interested in partnering with someone who would want to take on the marketing, while I create the product. If someone is ready to meet these parameters and wants to partner with me on a project, the best approach would be to send me a clear, well-written (but brief) proposal.

LainLain Ehmann of Crafting Your Business, Step-by-Step says:

The biggest thing someone could do is to demonstrate an understanding of my market and my business. If they present a partnership opportunity to me that doesn't match what my audience needs, or overlaps something that I already offer, then it's a non-starter.

Also, if they make it as easy as possible for me to promote (with access to the material, promo information, etc.) then I'll be more likely to jump on it!

kellyKelly McCausey of Solo Smarts Podcast says:

The smart people I've partnered with in the past have pulled me into projects and profits I'd never dreamed of on my own. They changed the way I see myself. Does that make sense? Over the years I've had seasons where everything I do is on my own and that's fine, but I find myself craving partnerships again. There's something energizing about working with someone else with equal motivation and different gifts.

So what would entice me?

A person with a fire in their belly to grow their income would be very appealing to me. Someone who shares my target market but brings a different set of skills to the table.

Speaking of partnerships and enticements… just this week I announced a new partnership for my Solo Masterminds membership. I'm welcoming the awesome Melissa Ingold (Special Report Club) as my partner and co-coach and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Solo Masterminds has been around since 2004, we launched as a membership for work at home moms and enjoyed many years of success. As I've rebranded myself over the last two years, the membership is about to go through another change. We'll be welcoming men into the membership for the first time, in just a few weeks.

In this situation, timing was so right. Melissa was interested in building up a membership and since she got her early start from within the Solo Masterminds membership she really liked the idea of helping take it to greater heights. At the same time, here I am with a big old fire in my belly, HUNGRY to grow my business and do great new things.

Partnership is so much about making a great connection, coming together at the right time and having a united goal. Working with Melissa is going to be great. I know it!

NicoleNicole Dean of .. here! .. says:

I have had a lot of partnerships over the years. Just counting quickly I can think of 10 different people who I've partnered with over the years.

  • Some of my partnerships have been AWESOME.
  • Most have been positive.
  • A few have not. (I have several grey hairs from one particularly terrible partnership.)

Anyway, I find this topic interesting as my answer to this question has definitely changed over the years.

A few years ago, I was much more open to partnerships.

While I am still open to a win-win (or I'd be silly not to be), I'm definitely more hesitant to get into a partnership now than I have been in the past. If I have an idea for a project, I'd rather create it myself, use my own team, and/or get an intern to help. That way it's part of my core business.

So what would someone need to bring to the table at this point to really interest me?

The biggest things someone can do to entice me into a partnership would be to bring in all of the following:

  • a ton of sweat equity or an existing project that is profitable
  • a hard work ethic
  • a great reputation
  • unbreakable integrity when dealing with money
  • a positive mindset
  • an attitude of FUN

Those are all must-haves.

Also on my wish list would be:

  • Skills (preferably different than my own)
  • Experience, preferably in marketing and in taking at least one past project to success
  • A Network or Community of People (connections)
  • A Team of at Least a Few Helpers in place (so that we're not burdening my staff)
  • A Vision for the project

Of course, I wouldn't expect someone to have all things in place, but the more, the better.

Basically my rule of thumb for partnering is the same as my rule for getting JV partners.

“If I feel like a moron saying ‘no', I won't.”

Make the offer so irresistible that your potential partner will lose sleep thinking about passing on the opportunity.

That's how you get them. 🙂

Speaking of partnerships, just yesterday, I teamed up with my good friend, and business partner, Melissa Ingold on this fun new project:

We are releasing Business Transformation Packs to help Coaches to have a more profitable business.


We just announced our first one and you can check it out here:
Business Transformation Pack: Coaching Business Start Up to Step Up

What about You?

Please share your thoughts about partnerships, your experiences, and your questions below.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you.


I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Meg Bertini

    Great timing! I’m just now considering teaming up with someone for a joint venture, and these are excellent tips so I start correctly. Thank you!

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