What makes a great partnership?

  • 11th January 2023
Written by Adam Barrett Brook

The SME Partners

Business partnerships. They can make or break you. Take you down or pick you up. When a relationship involves success or failure at its core, how do two people create a bond made in business heaven. This is our story.

How did you meet?
When Sonia and I first met we were working at the same finance provider, I was working as head of digital experience and Sonia as marketing director. We shared a common no nonsense approach and ability to get shit done and I think that’s why we we drawn together.

What do you  think makes a good partnership?

In many ways we are complete opposites. Sonia takes her energy from being around people and I take mine from total isolation. The ultimate extrovert side by side with an intense introvert. I’m tech minded, Sonia has a creative flair. She’s a Sagittarius, I’m a Gemini. Opposites of the zodiac but both seekers of adventure who easily get bored of routine. We bring balance to the each others flaws and enhance the best bits. Every relationship has its ups and downs and our team will say we bicker like a married couple but we always have each others back. On our long trips to see clients across all corners of the UK, we’ve had many conversations about our background, and we definitely share a common work ethic derived from our upbringing. We both come from working class families who worked hard to give us the opportunities, and we want to work hard to repay the favour.

Why did you decide to go into business together?

Sonia asked me to work on a specific digital project, and then another, and then another. It kind of snowballed from there and we decided to combine forces. We both have complimentary career skills that just fit naturally together. Neither one of us could have predicted a pandemic, a partnership and now a recession in that time. I think both of us will say we’ve experienced a lifetime in two years compared to our forty plus years combined careers. It’s been fun, terrifying, hard work but incredibly rewarding all at the same time.

What’s the best bits of the partnership?
There’s simply no time for boredom. And I think we both enjoy that. We’ve been on 8 hour road trips to Aberdeen, trained 200 NHS senior managers, launched brands, got sore feet from walking trade shows, narrowly missed drug dealers in dodgy hotels, met amazing entrepreneurs and business leaders who really believe in what we tell them. And we them. We’ve ate more cake than is humanly possible, and tracked down enough HRT patches to plaster the hole in the titanic and hold us together. Things haven’t always gone right. But we make sure one of us can pick each other up. Neither one of us would do this on our own.

What’s next for the partnership?
We’ve long given up predicting what’s next. The consultancy and agency world is unpredictable at best, and mind-boggling at worst.  We’re old enough and wise enough to know better. As that lovely Irish boy once said, life is a rollercoaster you’ve just gotta ride it. So long as it’s only on the way up, treacle.