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  1. #1
    rade is offline Newbie
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    Whom do you address as "business partner"?

    I would like to hear an explanation from a native English-speaking person with reference to this: what is the area of application of the term "business partner", that is, do you limit the meaning of this term only to people and organizations with whom you share profits and risks in the achievement of common business goal, or does the term include customers and suppliers as well?

    The problem arose during the preparation of end-of-the-year greeting cards and resulted in heated fruitless discussion. My positions was that out of politeness I can call anyone "partner", but in the business settings I do not share interests with my customers or my suppliers. On the contrary, their interests usually totally differ with regard to mine and we do not share neither profits, nor risks. Therefore, bearing in mind that the basic term "partner" relates to some kind of equality of involved parties, I cannot refer to my customers or my suppliers as "business partners".

  2. #2
    susiedq is offline Member
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    Re: Whom do you address as "business partner"?

    You said: "but in the business settings I do not share interests with my customers or my suppliers"

    Oh my - you certainly do!

    If your customers or suppliers go out of business, or even if their business declines, it affects you. So you are really a partner in the sense that you all must work together. You both must have mutual goals.

    In a greeting card or personal message, you can use "partner" as a verb or a noun.

    I am glad to partner with you in 2012.

    or
    .
    I am glad to be a partner with you as we approach the coming year .

    This kind of "partnering" is not the same as that in your financial agreement with investors or your business partners.

  3. #3
    rade is offline Newbie
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    Re: Whom do you address as "business partner"?

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedq View Post
    You said: "but in the business settings I do not share interests with my customers or my suppliers"

    Oh my - you certainly do!

    If your customers or suppliers go out of business, or even if their business declines, it affects you. So you are really a partner in the sense that you all must work together. You both must have mutual goals.
    Well, this is questionable. In an ideal world it may be so, but in reality my customer, a government agency in this particular case, could not care less for my destiny - if I close my business, they will easily find another supplier. They pay me when they want, not caring will I survive in the meantime. With reference to my suppliers, all request down-payments, I have great trouble with the quality of their work and they simply do not care for me, their usual MOD is "Take it, or leave it." In such circumstances, I simply do not grasp that "partner" thing.
    Last edited by rade; 09-Jan-2012 at 15:40.

  4. #4
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Whom do you address as "business partner"?

    I use it to, refer only to the person that I am in business with- we have a stake in a company together, and not for people like suppliers, though other may see this differently (like Susiedq)

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