Here’s a question every person who starts a business should ask themselves before they start their business endeavor, “Should I get a business partner?”
This is an excellent question to consider as it will have a great effect on how successful and profitable your future business will be for you and your family. Sometimes the answer might be obvious, but sometimes you might need to consider this question for quite some time to decide if sharing your business with another is truly worth it and if it is necessary.
According to “Business Partnership Essentials: A Step-by-Step Action Plan for Succeeding in Business with a Partner” by Doreen Lehavi Ph.D
“As with all relationships, they are vulnerable and subject to fallibility. If you think the fact that one in every two marriages in the United States end in divorce (that’s one every 36 seconds!), then consider this: The number is significantly higher for business partnerships; about 70% of them fail.”
Here’s 4 Things to Consider When Deciding If You Should Get a Business Partner:
1. Do you know someone who is interested in starting your business with you?
This could be a close friend, a family member or someone you know from previous work experiences. If you do have someone in mind, it’s important to consider if you feel they are trustworthy and competent to actually carry out the day-to-day tasks of the business with you. It’s also important to consider if (and hopefully it doesn’t come to this) the business could possibly sabotage your relationship with that person in the future. Sometimes it might sounds like a great idea to start a business with your Aunt Jean, but maybe down the road you will have disagreements about which way to take the business and it could completely ruin your relationship with your close family member. More often then not, it’s recommended to NOT go into business with a family member for this specific reason.
2. Does your business actually NEED a partner, or can you outsource the help you are looking for?
Outsourcing is easier than ever these days because the internet has brought people closer to you then in previous days. Finding someone to help out with the bookkeeping and accounting is often just a Google search away. So, it’s important to consider if you really need to get a business partner. This means giving someone equity in your business in exchange for their help in getting the business off the ground.
According to this Entrepreneur.com article, the five most time consuming tasks a small business should outsource are: Accounting, Banking, Artwork, Social Media and Editing. If you can do it all yourself, and pay someone to help you with what you cannot do on your own, you might want to go the outsourcing route. However, if your business is in need of some serious expertise, like website building or specific knowledge in a field which your business will rely on, taking on a strategic business partner might very much help you in obtaining your business goals without costing you an arm and a leg in upfront costs. Consider how much you might need this person and how much equity in the business to give them before approaching them with your idea. Also, make sure you have them sign a Non-Compete Agreement if your idea is original and could be easily copied by that person.
3. Will you be able to make important, and sometimes difficult, business decisions with this person?
Communication is KEY in business partner relationships. If you have a great communication relationship with this person then it could be a great fit for business. However, if you often times find yourself arguing with this person, you might want to reconsider taking them on as a business person so you don’t find yourself arguing with them about every single business facet in the future.
4. Lastly, does this person have complementing skills to yours?
If you have someone in mind whom you’d like to do business with, always make sure that their skill set is not exactly the same as yours. Often times people will want to start a business with their friends, but then find out later that all the partners in the business can ONLY do the same types of tasks, but none can provide expertise in another specific field which is important for the growth of the business. I would have to argue that THE MOST IMPORTANT factor in selecting a business partner, if you wish to do so, is determine if they have COMPLEMENTING business skills to yours, NOT IDENTICAL. For example, if you are a pro at Product Development, Marketing and Sales, make sure you select a business partner who is competent in Accounting, Bookkeeping and Office Management. This way you have all your bases covered. This also makes it easy to be able to delegate which responsibilities belong to whom and there will be less disagreements over things like which color to make the marketing flyers.
Featured Book: Business Partnership Essentials: A Step-by-Step Action Plan for Succeeding in Business with a Partner” by Doreen Lehavi Ph.D
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