Starting a business

Secrets to creating a thriving business partnership

Secrets to creating a thriving business partnership

3 minutes

Secrets to creating a thriving business partnership - with Jodie de Vries and Emma Scott, Brand Brigade

Starting a business with a friend or colleague isn’t all about cocktails by the beach. You need to make sure that you assess the viability of your business relationship.


A great business partnership is just like a great relationship. It takes chemistry, commitment and respect for what the other person is bringing to the table to make it work. Business partnerships in the small business space have grown exponentially since the beginning of COVID as a way of staying connected and staying afloat.


Jodie de Vries and Emma Scott created their business partnership almost a decade ago and are a shining example of what it takes to create a thriving business with your best friend. Brand Brigade, is a marketing consultancy company they founded together and are giving back years of combined corporate advertising agency experience and intel to women starting out in the small business world.


Is there anything you had to stop doing individually in order to make your business work together?


“The biggest thing for us is that we're perfectionists. We have been known to talk for half an hour about a comma. We've had to lose this perfectionism to make sure that our businesses move forward at a good pace. It's something we always have to keep in check.”


What are the most transferable skills between your business life and the other aspects of your life?


“I think about being a mum and, I feel to be honest, that business is much easier. I feel like going from business to motherhood, I was like, Whoa! This is a really steep learning curve, but I feel like there are things that I've learned through motherhood that have really helped in terms of business. You become incredibly efficient. I thought I was efficient before, but it just goes to the next level. Because you've got little pockets of time.

And what is the best thing that you can do with that pocket of time? Being a mum has made me more empathetic as a leader. Life is really busy. It's messy, it's complicated. I've got more appreciation for that now. Everyone's got a lot more going on, mum or not, but everyone's got a lot more going on than you might realise. So it's just, approaching everything with care and kindness.”


What is the real secret to making a partnership that's both rewarding and successful?


“Well, we always like to think of a business partnership like a marriage, and we know that 50% of marriages don't survive. I believe the stats are pretty similar to business partnerships. In fact, I think they're probably worse.

So the key to making a business partnership thrive, it's about making sure you're nurturing that relationship and giving it that time respect and care that it deserves.

When we do have things that we disagree on it's about making sure we can try to step into the other person's shoes and see how they're feeling in the situation. If we can both do that, then we pretty much always can come to a place of agreement.

It's also important that before you go into partnership with someone that you make sure that you've got similar values. For Jodie and I, we would both really care about doing a good job, and we both have a really strong work ethic.

I think if I thought Jodie was on the beach drinking cocktails every day and I was doing all the work or vice versa, that would make a partnership pretty hard. And then lastly, I think it's very important that you carve out time and space to have fun together.

We make sure we do that. We always have a good laugh. And laughter is great medicine.”

Want to know more about creating a thriving business partnership?

So what did Jodie & Emma have to stop doing in order to make their business work together? What are the most transferable skills between their business and personal lives? And what is the real secret to making a partnership that's both rewarding and successful?

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