Partnerships are one of the most significant opportunities and challenges in businesses. To ensure the partnership benefits you, the partner and the business, always remember the ABCDEFGs of partnerships.

Appetite to partnership
The desire to partner needs to exist within both or all parties. Someone will not partner with you until they know and trust you. They should have an interest in the partnership and understand its value.

Business of Partnership
A partnership is a mutual understanding between people with a shared goal. Remember a partnership is about business and likely should not cross over into something social or personal.

Commitment to Partnership
Each partner must commit to the relationship. Evaluate the benefit you gain versus your contribution. Everyone should benefit as much or more than the contribution they make. Otherwise, the partnership will discontinue.

Diversity of the Partnership
People differ in their values, backgrounder, skills, language, management styles and more. Be sure you find common ground and can communicate clearly with your partner.

Expectation of Partnership
Be clear about your expectations from the outset of the partnership and understand the expectations your partner has.

Feed the Partnership
Be sure you ‘feed’ the partnership – invest time into it so each partner feels that they are gaining from the partnership. Align the interests of your partners with your own and help them achieve their goals.

Gain from the Partnership
What is in it for me?  Why do I do it?  These are the questions of your partners.  If you cannot answer these questions, the partnership is at risk. If you cannot answer these questions, do not be shy to ask for an explicit answer.

Remember that when a partnership stops benefiting the parties involved and the business, it may be time to discontinue it. Know when to end the partnership.

 Dr. Wael Badawy, IntelliView Technologies Inc. Calgary, AB;, CYBF Mentor

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