Business Articles

Top 10 Successful Business Partners Examples

December 15, 2021

Business partners are usually compared to a solid marriage. There are many reasons behind this comparison. 

Especially in this period, in which doing business is complicated, you may think to work with business partners who can help you to split the job, suggest ideas, and have additional skills. 

In this article, you can discover what to look for in business partners. You can also learn something from the top 10 business partnerships. 

Who is a business partner?  

Visual of who is a business partner

A business partner is a commercial actor that has some kind of alliance with another commercial actor. Your partner is not necessarily a person. For instance, a limited company can act as a business partner.

This relationship can be regulated by a contract and with an exclusive bond that establishes that both parties do not have to ally with third parties. 

Optionally, it can be an agreement studied at the table to impress competitors and customers of the networks to which both business partners belong. 

Business partners share profits and losses. Each partner pays taxes on their individual tax return.

Potential business partners can be: 

  • A customer
  • A complementary vendor 
  • A supplier
  • An intermediary (such as a reseller or an agent)  

Types of business partnerships

There are mainly three types of partnerships with different business structures. Before starting your partnership, you have to decide which one to adopt:

  • General Partnership (GP): business partners participate in everyday operations. They have liability as owners for debts and lawsuits.
  • Limited Partnership (LP): in this case, there is a general partner (or more). So they participate in daily operations and have liability as owners.
    And there is a limited partner (or more). These don’t participate in daily operations and have no liability. In the UK, limited partnerships must register with Companies House.
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): legal protection from liability is extended to general partner(s). This is usually adopted for partners in the same industry. It is necessary to protect partners from the actions of other partners.

There are thus different rules for limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. In the UK, for tax purposes, you should be registering your partnership with HMRC.

Why are business partners essential? 

History has been a good advisor. Since ever, traders and merchants have partnered to do business.

And today it works in the same way. People have to partner if they want to do business. Even sole traders have to find business partners and business partnerships.

Partnerships can be made in different ways such as finance partnerships, marketing partnerships and owner partnerships. Whatever it is, it is crucial to look for the agreement that fit the best for both parties. 

Firms need the knowledge to advance. It comes hand in hand with strategic partnerships that allow you to learn and grow from another point of view. 

There is no competitive advantage in being just like everyone else. – Daniel Burrus

If you produce a chocolate bar, you will be like any other chocolate bar producer. Instead, if you partner with a packaging company you will differentiate from your competitors. Imagine buying a chocolate bar box in the shape of a car.

Credibility takes years to build, but a few hours to destroy. – Eivind Reiten 

Business partners help you improve your business credibility and brand image. When shared interests, vision and goals come into play, the strength and the influence of the company grow exponentially.

Stronger businesses put more quality into their products/services and operations which boosts brand equity. 

All of your customers are partners in your mission. – Shep Hyken

We all know that without customers, companies cannot survive. Thanks to a strategic partnership agreement, you will be able to increase your customer base.

There are lots of ways in doing it, for example, you can partner with complementary companies. Costumers love great products and services.

How to find adequate business partners?

Visual of How to find the adequate business partner

When you think to look for business partners, you first have to decide who and what you want. Business partners do not only mean more funds for the company. You have to spend a lot of time together.

You can read some suggestions about what characteristics you can look for in business partners.

Complementary personality

Potential partners have to have skills that are complementary to yours.

If you are more creative, maybe you need someone more analytical. If you excel in administration but hate finance, you should definitely look for a “finance person”, and so forth. 

One characteristic that the business partners must have is compatibility. It seems tempting to choose someone who shares your same hobbies and interests.

Although there is nothing wrong with this choice, it could be smart to select business partners that have nothing to do with you. You may be able to reach a lot more goals by choosing someone who has skills that you lack. 

It can be a good opportunity to partner with someone in a different field. In this case, you can contribute in different ways to the enrichment of your business.

Everyone has their personal assets. You might be good at business development and look for someone more into international trade.

Business partners have to be able to solve conflicts. Conflicts are unavoidable when you work (at least) five days a week with someone. But someone resentful and vengeful when they do not get their way is more a liability than a resource. 

Someone willing to succeed

One important feature is resilience. It goes without saying that during our life we experience failures, and so in businesses.

Along the way, entrepreneurs can make mistakes and they can fail many times, before reaching the top and being able to go anywhere.

That is why it is crucial to find resilient business partners that can motivate and support you when you feel disheartened. 

The partner you choose has to be passionate about your company as you are. There is no point in choosing a person who is not willing to work hard or to do whatever they need to reach the goals set. 

You should find someone invested in the business and who shares your same business idea.

The most successful businesspeople are innovators. The right business partners are the ones who come with fresh and original ideas. If you want to differentiate from the competition, a person who helps you to build a brand with a clear image is needed. 

Business partners should be open-minded. You have to collaborate with someone who is open to new ideas or has a different point of view. In the worst case, it will not make you reach your full potential. 

Trust is fundamental

It is always the best choice to pick someone you can depend on, rather than the applicant that is excited most to become your right hand. It is important to detect any red flags that can suggest that the candidate is unreliable. 

It is good to know your business partners for a while before deciding to embark on this adventure together.

In addition, regardless of the type of partnership you are going to plan, it is fundamental to pick someone who has not had financial problems in the past and knows how to manage money

Risk-taker

In choosing business partners, you have to go for the ones with a high tolerance for risks.

It could happen that you will have to make an investment or go out on a limb without understanding how things turn out. You might also have some business debts.

If your partner prefers to stay safe, you might miss certain opportunities or be hesitant in a face of a challenge. On the other hand, you do not want to hire someone too impulsive. The perfect partner is in between. 

Networking and business relationships

Last but not least, your business partners have to be good at networking. Another quality that can be great to look for in business partners is the ability to build strong relationships.

If you want your business to grow and your professional or social circle is small, you should think to find business partners who are “popular”.

Summing up, if you have in mind to look for a partner, it is a good idea to find someone that has complementary skills and knows how to react to adversity. 

Pros and cons of business partners 

Of course, in any partnership that is defined as such, there are pros and cons to which we must pay attention. 

Pros 

  • Have an extra set of hands: if you have someone who helps you to manage your tasks, they will be solved faster. 
  • Additional knowledge: as we all know, two (or more) brains are better than one. Business partners can bring skills and knowledge that you might not have.
  • Less financial burden: you can split the expenses with your business partners. As a consequence, the business might be able to afford more things at the same time. 
  • Less paperwork: there is not too much paperwork that you and your partner have to sign. The only document you and your business partners have to sign is the partnership agreement.
  • No extra taxes: a partnership agreement does not require additional taxes to pay. 

Cons

  • Cannot make decisions on your own: you have to remember that you are not working alone, so in the decisions process you have to consult them.
  • Disagreements: in every situation there are disagreements and the workplace is not exempt either. 
  • Split profits: depending on how many business partners you have, you have to split the profits based on them.
  • No separation between you and your business: all the business partners are financially and legally responsible for the business.
  • Taxed individually: even though it is a pro, usually business taxes have lower rates compared to individual taxes.

Top 10 examples of successful business partners 

In this paragraph, we will explain the most famous business partnerships. They can not only be ownership partners but also marketing partnerships.

In fact, the aim of marketing partnerships is to increase both companies’ brand awareness and net income. In some cases, the partnerships were co-branding. This is a marketing strategy that has two or more brand names on a good or service as part of the strategy. 

Red Bull & GoPro (2016)

Visual of GoPro

Red Bull is an Austrian energy drink company founded in 1987. The CEO and the co-founder of the company are Dietrich Mateschitz.

He has a marketing degree, and before Red Bull, he worked for Unilever, Belndax and P&G. During his travels for Blandax, he discovered Krating Daeng, the drink that a few years later became Red Bull.

Go Pro is a portable camera company that also develops mobile apps and video-editing software. Nick Woodman is the founder and CEO of GoPro who got the idea to invent the GoPro on a surf trip in Australia and Indonesia.

They are both (adventurous, fearless and extreme) “lifestyle” brands. These shared interests made them the perfect business partners.

Louis Vuitton & BMW

Visual of BMW

Louis Vuitton is a French fashion house and luxury goods company founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton in Paris. Michael Burke has been the CEO and the chairman of the company since 2012. He is also the Chairman of Tiffany Board of Directors since 2021.

He has a background in luxury since he worked for Dior and Bvlgari. Michael Burke is also a part of the LVMH Executive Committee.

BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG) is a German multinational producer of luxury vehicles and motorcycles. They are sold under the brands BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce. Olivier Zipse has been the CEO of the company since 2019.

He is a mechanical engineer who studied at the Technische Universität Darmstadt. He obtained an MBA (the Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program) at two joint universities, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany and the Kellogg School of Management in the USA.

What does a car company have in common with a clothing store? Nothing. But if the companies are Louis Vuitton and BMW they probably should have something in common to have such a successful partnership. 

Both companies are in the luxury fashion, business or travel (cars and luggage). They are both famous and well-known for their high-quality craftsmanship.

That is why they partnered. BMW “offered” sports car models, while Louis Vuitton designed a set of suitcases and bags that fit int the car’s parcel shelf.

Starbucks & Spotify 

Visual of Spotify

Starbucks is an American multinational chain of coffeehouses and roastery reserves founded in 1971. In the early 1980s, Howard Schultz converted it from a coffee bean store into a coffee shop selling espresso-based drinks.

Today, the CEO is Kevin Johnson, a software engineer who worked for IBM, Microsoft and Juniper Networks.

Spotify is a Swedish audio streaming and media services provider founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. Daniel Ek, the CEO, was born an engineer but later he focused on IT.

Starbucks created a coffee shop experience with the help of music to create an ambience. They wanted to create a “music ecosystem” allowing artists to easily have access to Starbucks consumers, and vice versa, allowing Starbucks to have access to Spotify’s discography. 

Apple & MasterCard

Visual of Apple

Apple is an American multinational technology company founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976. Tim Cook has been the CEO of the company since 2011. Since then, he was able to double Apple’s revenue and profits.

MasterCard is an American multinational financial services corporation. Michael Miebach is the CEO of the company and he is leading the company towards the digital.

When Apple launched the Apple Pay app, it completely revolutionised how people do transactions. In fact, Mastercard was the first company that allowed its customers to store their credit cards on Apple Pay. 

Alexander Wang & H&M

Visual of Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang is an American fashion designer. The designer is a well-known person in the fashion industry since he worked as creative director for Balenciaga.

H&M is a Swedish (fast-fashion) multinational company. Helena Helmersson has been the CEO of H&M since 2020. She started working there in 1997 and since 2010 she has become also the head of sustainability.

These two companies do not have the same audience. That is why H&M traditionally partners with high-end fashion brands to launch branded items for a limited period.

In exchange, these high-level brands can present themselves to a new potential group of consumers. 

Amazon & American Express

Visual of Amazon logo

Amazon is an American eCommerce company founded by Jeff Bezos in 1997. Since 2021, Andy Jassy is the CEO of Amazon. He joined the multinational company at the very early stages of the company, in 1997, as a marketing manager.

American Express is a multinational company specialised in payment card services. It was founded in 1850. Stephen Squeri has been the CEO since 2018 and he has been the chairman of American Express since 2015.

Amazon wanted to improve the way small and medium businesses sell on Amazon. Hence, it decided to partner with American Express on a co-branded credit card.

Nike & Apple

Visual of Nike shoe

Nike is an American multinational corporation that is involved in the design, manufacturing, development, and sales of footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and services.

Since 2020, John Donahoe is the CEO of Nike. He is also on the board of directors at The Bridgespan Group and the chairman of Paypal.

Apple is an American multinational technology company founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976. Tim Cook has been the CEO of the company since 2011 and he was able to double Apple’s revenue and profits.

Nike and Apple decided to partner because they wanted to bring music (from Apple) to Nike customers’ workouts. This partnership has allowed Nike, thanks to Apple iPhone apps, to keep track and record workout data. 

Burger King & McDonald’s

Visual of McDonald's products

Burger King is an American multinational chain of hamburger fast-food restaurants. Its CEO is Daniel S. Schwartz.

In 2005, he was hired by 3G. This is a Brazilian company that bought Burger King in 2010. He was first appointed as CFO. Four years later, he was elected CEO when Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI) was formed after the purchase of the Tim Hortons brand.

McDonald’s is an American fast-food company. Today McDonald’s is led by Chris Kempczinski who has been the CEO since 2019.

He started hir career in P&G, then he moved to Boston Consulting Group and PepsiCo among others, and finally joined the McDonald’s global strategy team in 2015.

Yes. Two of the most famous fast-food competitors have partnered for an amazing cause.

In 2019, McDonald’s was supporting charities for childhood cancer: for every Big Mac purchased, the company donated $2. Burger King, to support this cause, decided to launch “A Day Without a Whopper” to encourage people to buy the Big Mac. 

Taco Bell & Doritos

Visual of Taco Bell restaurant

Taco Bell is an American fast-food chain company. Since 2019, Mark King has been the CEO. He was working at Adidas as Executive Emeritus in 2018.

In his last four years of leadership at Adidas, the company became the fastest-growing sports brand in North America, it doubled its market share and regained the number 2 position in the U.S.

Doritos is an American brand of flavoured tortilla chips, an owned subsidiary of PepsiCo. PepsiCo, Inc is an American multinational food, snack and beverage business. It was formed in 1965 with the merger of the Pepsi-Cola Company and Frito-Lay, Inc.

These two complementary companies decided to sell a Taco Bell inside of a crunchy Doritos shell.

Kanye & Adidas

Visual of Adidas shoes

Adidas is a German multinational corporation that is involved in the design and manufacturing of shoes, clothing and accessories. Since 2016, Kasper Rørsted has been appointed as CEO.

During the early stages of his career, he worked with Oracle, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Compaq. From 2008 to 2016, he was the CEO of Henkel, a German chemical and consumer goods firm.

Kanye West is an American rapper, record producer and fashion designer. He has always shown his interest in fashion. In 2006 he began his career in the fashion world by launching his Pastelle Clothing line.

Kanye West, the famous rapper partnered with Adidas to develop high-end footwear named Yeezy. This partnership was fabulous, both Kanye’s personal brand and Adidas gained in terms of popularity (and also in revenues). 

Our business partners

CONNECTS is working together with its business partners. They use the platform so that they can host their events, extend their reach on a global scale and have their own communities. They are providing content, know-how, webinars and events to its members. 

BeCommerce 

Visual of BeCommerce logo

BeCommerce is the Belgian non-profit organization that brings together and represents companies active in the Belgian digital marketplace.

Through compliance and security audits, the BeCommerce Trustmark ensures that consumers recognize safe online stores and that the online store is trusted by the consumer. 

BeCommerce has been organizing workshops on e-commerce related topics for years in addition to the BeCommerce Awards and BeCommerce Summits. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they were forced to cancel most of those events.

Nevertheless, BeCommerce found a solution with the BeCommerce Webinars to give their community a chance to continue exchanging experiences with each other and to learn from each other.

The company is holding a series of webinars on CONNECTS. Join their events to know more.

BeCommerce has created the community “BeCommerce: Community of Webshops selling to Belgian Consumers” on CONNECTS.

Belgian Chambers 

Visual of Belgian Chambers

The Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce represents the accredited Chambers of Commerce in Belgium and the Belgian Chambers abroad.

It guarantees the quality and cohesion of the chamber network while focusing on international and sustainable entrepreneurship. René Branders is the President of the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce. René has always been dealing with international affairs.

FACTORY 4.0 

Visual of FACTORY 4.0 logo

FACTORY 4.0 aims to bring together valuable people in the industry, interested in the digital transformation of their companies. 

The FACTORY 4.0 initiative is supported by IFM ELECTRONIC, Bosch Rexroth, Phoenix Contact, KUKA and EPLAN.

It will develop for the first time in Romania an intensive workshop on digitization, robotization, cyber security, automation, employee training for Industry 4.0 and how companies can move from concept to concrete projects.

This company has created the Community “FACTORY 4.0 | digital skills & digital transformation” where they talk about Industry 4.0, digital skills and the digital economy.

finance&invest.brussels

Visual of finance&invest.brussels

They facilitate and complete the financing chain for your business for start-ups, scale-ups, and SMEs. They also help very small businesses, social enterprises, and cooperatives established in the Brussels-Capital Region.

Pierre Hermant has been the CEO of the company since 2018 and he has been also a lecturer in Management & Strategy at Saint Louis University in Bruxelles.

innoviris.brussels

Visual of innoviris.brussels

As the regional institute for research and innovation, Innoviris’ mission is to connect, stimulate and financially support citizens, companies, research institutes, and non-profit organisations in achieving progress.

Innoviris plays a pioneering role and provides the financial fuel to power the innovation engine in Brussels. Innovation is, after all, the engine of growth of the Brussels-Capital Region.

Where to find online business partners? 

If you are part of any online platform, this could be an excellent way to find your business partner. A professional and reliable association is a good start. 

CONNECTS is a good place to start looking for business partners. CONNECTS is a SaaS platform that allows you to find trustworthy business opportunities online.

Using online platforms is a great way to discover business partners that you might not have come across otherwise. Whether that be because of your location, the industry you operate in or whatever reason.

On our platform, you can find

  • suppliers
  • partnerships
  • clients
  • business communities
  • online leads

As it is one single platform, it will save you a lot of time and effort and can really boost your online business efforts.

It allows you to make or join a community in which you can talk about the importance of having a business partner. There you might also meet your business partner.

Join CONNECTS and discover a world of new opportunities you can trust. The platform is a Business and Chamber Directory.

You can try our free trial for new members.

Are you a member of a participating Chamber? Join our Business Development Platform for free.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? We are on Google Maps! For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us or request a demo

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