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What are the most important success factors of managing relationships in startups?

Research indicates four critical success factors for success of business networks “Precise definition of rights and duties”, “Contributing specific strengths,” “Deriving alliance objectives from business strategy” and “Speedy implementation and fast results” (Hoffman et al., 2001, p. 375).

Note that small companies that are not successful tend to underestimate these critical factors!

No. Critical Success Factors Successful companies perceived very important Not successful companies perceived very important
1 Precise definition of rights and duties 54.5% 25.0%
2 Contributing specific strenghts 63.3% 50.0%
3 Establishing required resources 34.5% 36.4%
4 Deriving alliances objectives from business strategy 40.0% 46.7%
5 Speedy implementation and fast results 30.9% 23.1%


Hoffmann, W. H., & Schlosser, R. (2001). Success factors of strategic alliances in small and medium-sized enterprises—An empirical survey. Long Range Planning, 34(3), 357-381.

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