Successful Business Partnerships

Much like a successful marriage, there are all kinds of reasons that you may or may not expect as to why a business partnership fails or succeeds. Before going into business with someone, it is important to get to know your soon to be partner very well and analyze some of their traits and imagine how it would impact business. Here are nine key things that successful business partnerships do. Do you and your partner do these things already?

I’ve heard this again and again from successful entrepreneurs, and I’ve lost count of how many investors tell me that they put their money behind people–as much or more than ideas. Still, so many people go about this the other way around. It’s especially sad to hear the stories of founding teams that had truly amazing ideas but who fell apart on a personal level.

Take Zipcar, the rent-by-the-hour car service that was founded in 2000, went public in 2011, and was later acquired by Avis Budget Group for nearly $500 million. You won’t find the names of its original founders, Robin Chase and Antje Danielson, anywhere on Zipcar’s website now; its About Us page briefly tells the company’s story without naming them. The reason? Chase and Danielson left the company years ago. According to a new article in The Verge, the two women haven’t even spoken in a decade.

I interviewed Chase for a book I co-authored with Jon Burgstone, so I knew some of Zipcar’s story, but The Verge account adds some context. The story drives home the keys to how most successful business partners work together and what wrecks the chemistry between others.

Here are nine proven best practices for business partners:

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