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The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 10, 2013 • Issue 13:06:01


Choose partners with care

With new payment technology emerging at a rapid clip - both from established vendors and from new, disruptive entrants - many payment professionals are embarking upon new partnerships in order to break into new territory and give themselves a competitive edge.

And though the technology may be dazzling and the frontiers may be exciting and new, it's good to keep in mind some age-old considerations when on the verge of entering into new business relationships.

Know yourself

Before you can evaluate whether a particular person or company would be a suitable partner, you must know who you are and, by extension, what your company really is at the core.

You must know not only what your values are, but which of those values are most important to you - the ones you could never compromise no matter how much pressure you encounter.

You must also clarify the following:

  • Your business goals and mission.
  • What kind of commitment you are willing and able to make to a new venture.
  • The expectations you have for such a venture.
  • What you can and cannot contribute to the new partnership. This will entail an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses - for yourself and your company - as well as a determination of what financial resources are at your disposal for the new endeavor.

Assess your prospects

With a thorough understanding of your values, goals, expectations, capabilities and resources, it will be easier to assess those same aspects of each person or company you are considering as a partner. Keep in mind that you need business partners whose:

  • Values are the same or compatible with yours
  • Level of commitment to success matches yours
  • Expectations are in alignment with yours
  • Strengths complement, rather than duplicate yours
  • Weaknesses are in areas where you are strong
  • Motivation matches your own

Take your time

Forming a new business relationship is a significant step. It's important to thoroughly vet all candidates. Don't rush the process. Also, trust your gut. You will be devoting a lot of time to this relationship. If you feel uncomfortable when you meet with a prospective partner, take your feelings seriously.

Try to determine what the source of your discomfort is. It could be a red flag that a chasm exists between you and your potential partner, one that cannot be bridged. Be sure you are satisfied with the way you communicate with potential partners as well. Does the candidate welcome your questions and provide answers with good cheer and in a timely manner?

If not, this is another red flag, indicating you need to dig deeper into what kind of person or company you might be dealing with. In addition, you and your potential partner must have a mutual respect for each other, and you must both feel that you can trust one another implicitly in your business dealings.

And though each party will be contributing different skills and resources, each party's contribution should be relatively equal in terms of value provided to the endeavor. Then, once you've made your decision, give the venture your all, and enjoy the fruits that come. end of article

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