If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

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As an entrepreneur, ‘collaborating’ and ‘delegating’ are important functions to help your business flourish. By establishing reliable and compatible relationships with professional individuals – and eliminating the need to micromanage – it will be easier for you to push your business to the next level. However, when working outside of your own area of expertise, collaborations and partnerships can sometimes prove challenging.  By clearly establishing rules with your potential consultant or project, you can save yourself many headaches and financial grief.

Compatible Work Style

When working with someone new, make sure that they are able to achieve your project outcomes, while simultaneously complementing your personal workstyle. Don’t just decide to work with someone by solely looking at their past work. Discuss their personal workstyle, weekly availability, and professional charges for cost overrun. It is important for you to take time to learn about the person you are working with, make sure you understand how they work, and ensure there is synergy in how you can carry forth projects.

Transparent Communication

The terms of any work relationship should always have to be made clear from the start. Nobody wants to work with someone who backtracks on their promise. That’s why outlining the scope of your project in a clearly written agreement, contract, or a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), having it signed by both parties, can save you a lot of grief. By having your work relationship written out on paper, you and the person you are working with will have a better understanding of what working together really looks like, thereby avoiding any unnecessary guess work and professional conflict. Also, it doesn’t matter whether the person you are working is a family member or a friend – write out the terms of the work relationship anyways. There is nothing worse, than getting into an argument with someone you truly care about, simply because there was disagreement on how you were going to work together.

Clear Resolution Process

Disputes are not always negative experiences, especially when you look at them as opportunities of growth and reflection. However, they become negative when it is clear that no real resolution process has been outlined to determine what should happen next. Disagreements can quickly exacerbate when parties start to react emotionally to one another, instead of responding calmly and in a respectful manner to each other. That’s why, prior to starting a partnership, it is important to sit down with your prospective partner and draft up clear resolution practices. Pre-established rules signed off by both parties will smoothen the resolution process, and provide clear guidance on how to quickly and constructively resolve conflict.

Written by Marisol and Silvia Fornoni, Founders of JDC.

JDC supports socially conscious organizations with finding sustainable ways to tell their stories using visual design, engaging content and non-traditional media. We help you with anything from organizing fundraising campaigns to web design and social media management.



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