Find the Right Partner for Success

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Is your business going through a period of little to no growth? Are there areas that need to be polished? Bringing in a partner might be the answer for you—but finding the right partner for success requires careful planning.

F12 CMO Devon Gillard recently chatted with Ethan Wolfe, the vice president of Clairvest Group, a Canadian private equity firm, and Alex Webb, F12’s CEO about finding the right partner for success in business. Clairvest and F12 recently embarked on an exciting partnership, and the three discussed everything from what makes a good partner, what factors to keep in mind, and even how to deal when a partnership ends.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page to watch the entire webcast.

Insights into Finding the Right Partner for Success

The different kinds of business partnerships

A business relationship can take many forms. At [2:44], CEO Alex Webb describes them as equity partners, investors, clients, and so on, but adds that what’s important to understand is that a good partnership will help fill any gaps in your organization.

Alex shares his story of starting F12 from his basement at [6:40]. Teaming up with and relying on different partners was a huge factor in getting out of that basement.

Clairvest’s Ethan Wolfe notes that an outside partner can help bring a new perspective at [12:00]. He shares his experience of a situation where different shareholders had differing objectives, and bringing in a partner helped equalize it.

Partnerships aren’t always black and white. At [15:58], Ethan reminds listeners that the misalignment of interests could happen slowly and take time. 

The working relationship

“You have to be swift […]; act quickly, and pay,” says Alex at [19:00]. Sometimes when the partnership doesn’t work out, it’s better to act immediately. In other words, don’t let an uncomfortable situation drag out.

Much like in a marriage, it’s common to draft and sign a prenup at the beginning of a partnership. Accordingly, setting the right tone and crafting the right arrangement for the partnership based on how the parties intend to continue—and what happens if and when the relationship ends—is key, says Ethan at [20:49].

“Is the focus about money? Or is it about what we’re trying to accomplish?” Alex emphasizes at [26:30] that trying to understand this during the formative stages of talking to a potential partner is essential.

When to bring in a business partner

Seasons of growth and decline might be an indicator of having to bring in a third-party investor . There’s never a “perfect time” to bring on a new business partner, but understanding your organization’s gaps will help [30:00].

Your partner doesn’t necessarily have to be an expert in your industry, but they should have a general understanding. At [32:00], the experts remind us that you don’t always have to get someone from within the industry itself as long as they are well aware of the role they play.

It’s always better to be upfront about potential conflict of interests when developing a partnership. Devon gets the ball rolling with “business entanglements” at [35:40]. Working on this from the get-go might help organizations discover solutions more seamlessly. Remember: transparency and communication are key. 

Are you looking to find a business partner that’s there for all your IT needs and IT supports the growth of your company? Let F12 help identify and fill those gaps in your organization.

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