Instead of killing each other, try partnership, to save your ideas and foster the achievement of a shared goal; thus, adding value to lives and achieving success.
A common practice in Nigerian entrepreneur space is unhealthy competition, when partnership or collaboration should be most preferred. Although, startups are aware of the benefits of partnerships, most of them still frown at it.
For this reason, most tech start-ups don’t thrive in the Nigerian ecosystem of scarce resources, causing repeated failures.
Why Do Start-ups Frown at Partnership?
Some reasons why Nigerian Tech Start-up founders frown at partnerships according to Derin Fagbure of “In Black and White” are
- The fear of losing control; that is, fear of sharing part of the pie,
- Hate for accountability,
- The formality of discussion and voting on every decision that needs to be taken,
- Difficulty in identifying a genuine partner who truly shares similar vision with the promoter,
- Slow Nigerian judicial system and the dispute resolution settlement process which take ages in the instance that a dispute arises. (although the possibility of exploring Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) makes this less of a problem, a documented agreement might still pose difficulty for ADR, especially if some terms are stated clearly in the deal.
- The philosophy of family business. Most promoters or start-up founders want to build businesses for family, forgetting that they have no control once they die.
Aim Of Partnership According To U.S MDGs
If you recollect, the 8th Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to be precise is “Global partnership for development”. As clearly stated, the aim of partnership is to foster development globally.
But then, how will the aforementioned be achieved if Local partnership has not been considered as an option by SMEs in Nigeria?
Advantages Of Partnership
The advantages of partnership cannot be over emphasised. On a global scale, a number of firms and tech giants partner with each other, relying on the other parties for resources. An example of this is the business deal between Samsung and Snapdragon for powerful processors which powers Samsung smartphones; if not all, 97%.
The reasons listed below are advantages of partnership.
Rationale For Partnership
Reasons why Tech start-ups in Nigeria should partner includes
- Share resources
- Distribute uncertainties
- Increase authority both physically and online.
- Increase strength, to fill lapses of parties involved
- Spur innovation and creativity
- Cut excesses. Your partner would restrain you from excesses, and taking irrational decisions, especially if it’s going to hurt the company.
Validating Partnership Deals
Long terms and conditions with many details hidden in beautiful colours clearly describes partnership deeds. These beautiful colours lure you into partnership deeds that are going to run you down.
In a nutshell, partnership deals are not easy to understand, most of them are drafted tactically to lure desperate, careless entrepreneurs into traps. For this reason, these deals must be validated, for “what is” and “what isn’t”.
How Should Partnership Deals Be Validated?
Validating contract is difficult, but you can start with the check list below.
1. Parties Involved: The contract must identify who the parties are; usually names are sufficient, but sometimes addresses or title may be used.
2. Consent Of Parties: A valid contract also requires the parties’ consent, which must be free, mutual and communicated to each other. Consent is not free when obtained through duress, menace, fraud, undue influence or mistake. Obviously, a person who signs a contact because he has been manipulated hasn’t consented to the agreement and can cancel it.
Furthermore, consent isn’t mutual unless both parties agree on the same thing in the same sense. This is often referred to as “meeting of the minds”. Generally, there’s an offer and an acceptance communicated by the parties.
3. Object Being Agreed On: The thing being agreed to is the object. It must be definite i.e, written concisely, everything spelt out. It must also be lawful.
4. Consideration By Parties Involved: Since both parties must gain, the contract requires consideration. When a party agrees to do something or not to do something, they must gain something. Generally, if an agreement is to do marketing and you don’t promise anything, you can sue the party for not marketing because you didn’t give any consideration.
Everything should be put in written form so, reference can be made to it when necessary.
Finding Good Partners
Of course, doing business with strangers requires that both party look for ways to outsmart the other. The afore-stated does not exclude close friends, since most of them understand you and know your weakness even more.
But a start-up community with an overseer who does not want the community’s image tarnished would be a perfect place to look. Since members of the community have shared interest with time, they will pose less threat.
Steps to Finding Ideal Partners In Start-up Communities
1. What do I need?: First, start with an honest assessment of your skills and where you need help. Your partner should fill that skill gap of yours. It will be more like a complement for your skills.
2. Who do I need?: Identify the personal qualities you are looking for in ideal partner. Beyond a specific skill set, what attributes do you value in your founding team? Honesty? Optimism? Unwavering commitment? Relentless pursuit of excellence? Know what you want.
Read full text about this topic here.
Ideas come to reality only when you have resources and support. Also, no idea is too big to let anyone in. Try today to partner, share resources, and achieve a common goal. Perhaps this is all it takes to achieve success.
Instead of killing each other, try partnership to save your ideas and foster the achievement of a shared goal.