How To Avoid A Disastrous Partnership How To Avoid A Disastrous Partnership In the business world, we place a large importance on networking and forming connections with various successful individuals. This philosophy gives life to the idea of asking for, and accepting, help. Gracefully and humbly accepting help does not make you weak, but instead puts you on the same level as those kickass moguls who know what it takes. But how do you know that the person offering a helping hand is the right one? Not all business relationships are fruitful; if you jump the gun, you may end up in a partnership with someone who brings distress to you, or worse – your business. Research & Background Check What you see is not always what you get so I encourage you to do your homework on any potential partners. Can’t find anything on them? That may be a sign in itself. You want to work with someone who is genuinely beneficial, not someone with a sketchy reputation. Who you ally yourself with affects more than you’d think. Go with Your Gut Everything might check out. He or she might be the perfect partner on paper, but the vibe might not be there. Not everything comes down to reputation and recommendations; as sometimes your instinct takes precedence. Follow what feels right for you and your business. “It is rare to find a business partner who is selfless. If you are lucky it happens once in a lifetime.” – Michael Eisner Consider the Exit Cost No one ever wants to go into a new partnership with the idea that things might go wrong; but, just like bad marriages, unhealthy associations fail. This consideration is particularly important for entrepreneurs. The decision to exit a contractual agreement can cost a large amount in legal fees and potentially damage your reputation – a budding business may never recover. Once you weigh out the pros, cons, and how much time, effort and money it will cost you to back out of the deal, you may find that the partnership is not the one for you. No matter why you decide to turn them down, make sure you do it respectfully. Ending a partnership is one thing but making an enemy is entering a whole new ball park. Save yourself a headache by conducting yourself with professionalism and poise. Who knows, the deal might not be right for you in that moment but who can speak for the future. Alexandria Nelson Alex is a contributor to SWAAY focused on bringing attention to spectacular women and promoting the role of millennials in today's business world. When she is not blogging about the do's, don'ts and how to's of a successful entrepreneurship, you will likely find her holed up with a good book and a glass of wine.