Partnership or Not
I have been asked the question Partnership or Not, should I partner with another person to build my business?
Personally, I have very strong and mixed feelings about business partnerships, and I’ll tell you why.
Many partnerships don’t end well
In the beginning, everyone’s excited the future looks great; your partner is someone you know and trust. You both have knowledge and strengths in different areas that are of benefit to the business and you both. As time goes by, a point may be, reached when one or both partners, have different ideas and want to head in different directions. Or/And there may even be times when you feel like you have the majority of the work load, and your partner is just sitting back.
What are the benefits
You both have strengths, some things you are very good at and some not so, and it’s the same for your partner. Your partner should make up for your weaknesses enabling you to leverage their strengths and together giving balance.
One of you may be very organised and efficient great at the administration side while the other may be disorganised have a basic understanding. The other may be gifted at sales and can sell snow to an Eskimo. It’s these differences that can make a dynamic team.
Building a Business is a long Journey
Going it alone means its all yours, but often you don’t have anyone to support you, bounce off ideas. Often we go in the wrong direction without realising it, having a partner helps to keep and correct that direction. Going it alone can be a long and lonely road.
Know Your Partner
Always remember and consider you will be working together for a long time.
Spend time to get to know your partner, what you say; I know them that’s why I’m partnering. Yes, that is true, but take some time with your prospective partner and openly discuss your Weaknesses and Strengths, write them down. Use this as a basis to clearly, identify which parts of the business each partner will be responsible.
Take time to get to know your partners family especially their spouse. A person’s loyalty will first be to their spouse, their husband or wife. A spouse never has the full picture and only sees one side. More often than not, a business partners spouse can have a heavy influence on them affecting the decisions made.
Knowing the family and spouse can help to avoid a lot of headaches and misunderstanding.
Make everything clear at the start, one of the most important things is to define the roles and get it in writing.
One of the most difficult things to decide is who makes the final decision. Every business needs a leader, and at the end of the day there can only be one, so decide who has the last word. Of course, you will discuss and consult and come to consenses, deciding and defining leadership has to be done early.
Often the leadership role is easy, to identify and that’s by the partnership share i.e. the larger shareholder is the leader by default. Even so, it requires discussion as the other partner may be a born leader, and it would be a waste not to draw on that.
Yes know doubt you will have them, entrepreneurs always want to go it alone and are very determined and think they know what’s best. Your partner likely has the same mindset and strong willed personality. What’s going to happen, disagreements and arguments?
One of the biggest causes of partnership failure is one party feels like they are doing most of the work.
When the partnership started, both partners were doing an equal share of the work. Over time one person may start to feel they’re doing a greater share. If, and when they raise this issue, and often they don’t, which creates tension and make the situation untenable. This leads to conflict, and that’s when things really fall apart.
When disagreements arise, always keep the lines of communication open.
Always spend the time to do your research, and ask what business structure is best for me.
You can learn more, about starting a business and download my free book Your First Business a Beginners Guide
- Why have a Mentor
- Business Planning for Success
- Business Ideas For 2016
- Action Your Idea
- How to Find a Real Business Opportunity
- Become a Successful Entrepreneur
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About Darren Wilkins
Darren is a semi-retired senior executive and serial entrepreneur who runs a number, of successful businesses both online and offline.
With 30+ years experience in management and as a management consultant Darren has a can-do attitude and offers real practical advice that can be used for any business no matter the size, Darren is using his time focusing on online opportunities and building better businesses.
With global experience managing and directing multimillion-dollar mega construction projects and businesses. Darren has a wealth of practical experience to share and wants to help you and your business.