By Brooke Chaplan

Many people have unfortunately suffered a considerable amount of stress and even financial loss as a result of making bad business decisions. The individuals who you partner with can play a major role in your exposure to risk as well as to your potential return, and you understandably want to develop great relationships with the right connections. However, you may feel anxious about how you can make excellent decisions about your business partnerships. By adopting these tips, you can more easily find the right individuals to partner with in the months and years to come.

Do a Background Check About Individuals and Companies

Business credentialing services are available to help you learn more about different companies that you may be interested in partnering with. These services may help you to learn more about unscrupulous activities or other risks that you may be exposed to when you work with certain people. This is a fast and easy way to gain more insight about who you may potentially work with in the future. Because it can steer you away from making risky decisions, this is a cost-effective solution to consider when vetting individuals or companies for potential relationships. Something like a missing certificate of insurance could be the difference between open and closed doors in the event of an incident involving both companies. Remember that you can also update your understanding of individuals and entities through periodic reviews conducted on a regular basis.

Check References Carefully

It is wise to ask your new contacts for a list of references. Spend time calling each reference that you are given, and consider using the Internet to research these references as well. Have a list of thoughtful questions available to ask these individuals so that you make the most out of your inquiries. Understand that these references may have been hand-picked because they have a great business relationship with a potential partner. Therefore, it may also be smart to read consumer reviews posted online in offsite locations.

Take Your Time

You should never feel pressured or rushed to make a business decision. The best business partners are those who will give you ample time to research the options and to get comfortable with a specific scenario on your own terms. If you feel as though someone is rushing you, you may want to look for a partnership elsewhere. Hasty decisions that are not based on thorough and careful research and review of the facts can result in financial issues and may even put you in legal or financial jeopardy.

Trust Your Instincts

Many things in the business world are black and white, but the reality is that you may still need to listen to your instincts as well when trying to decide how to act. Even if all of the facts seem to check out for a specific opportunity, you may still have a negative or unpleasant feeling about it in different ways. If this is the case, trust your instincts, and start exploring opportunities elsewhere. New opportunities may come along in the future, and these opportunities may be a better fit for you overall. In the event you start to sense that something is not right after the partnership has formed, do not feel locked in. There is always a way to get out of an investment or partnership that you feel has soured.

Whether you have sought out a partnership or a potential business partner has found you, you may be eager to take advantage of the opportunities that stand in front of you. However, you may be well-aware that some partnerships can go sour quickly. If you want to enjoy the best possible results from your upcoming partnership, consider how each of these tips can be applied to help you make a savvier business decision.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening.