Once you choose to get into business, you have the choice of going it alone or getting into a partnership with like minded parties. Sometimes the partnership is formed from the onset, and in other occasions it comes within the lifespan of the business.
A poorly handled partnership can not only ruin your business, but also wreck the relationship between partners. You may realize, albeit too late, that you were better off in a sole proprietorship. Avoid this mistake; answer these queries about your partner(s) to determine whether a partnership is the best deal for you:
Do they have the Skills that you don’t?
Naturally, we’re gifted differently. You can be very passionate about the business, yet not good in marketing, so you end up not clinching deals. Another will be very good with people, but not as creative in formulating new products. If your partner(s) have just the same skills as yours, you will easily get along, but will not bring the much needed diversity into the business.
Do they share your Company’s Vision?
The vision will guide you in your strategies, mission, pricing and every other aspect. You must be on the same page on this one. Are the partners as passionate as you are? Are they willing to invest their savings? How about put in long working hours? If you’re willing to put in everything to make it work, you’d better be sure that your partners will do the same. Only then should you feel comfortable enough to relinquish a degree of control to your partners.
Is there enough Revenue to Support a Partner?
Even as you run the business, you have bills to think about. You draw a salary or at least a commission from the business. The partners that you bring on board also need to be compensated. Can the business support that? Can the partners agree to draw minimal wages at least during the initial stages of the business? You cannot expect a budding business to support millions worth of wages unless you’re working in Zim currency. Every partner that comes on board should boost the sales significantly, and then he can comfortably draw a wage.
Are you looking for short-term Skills?
What is attracting you to the particular partner? Is it a certain skill that you need at the moment? Maybe the partner is a good marketer and goes ahead to attract several new clients.
With time, however, you have enough repeat clients to sustain the business. You’re stuck with this partner. Good idea? Probably not. Maybe what you needed was to outsource that particular task while still retaining 100% control of your business.
Is it funding that you need?
If your main motivating factor for the partnership is the additional capital, maybe it’s an investor that you should be thinking about. Unlike a partner, an investor will provide the finances without requiring being involved in every decision in the business.
An investor is largely satisfied with the assurance that the money will bear profits. You remain the chief decision maker in your business.
Are the Partners relatively stable in Life?
Sharing a business is no small feat. You’re not only business partners; you’re acquaintances, friends, colleagues and confidants. You will be sharing the ups and downs of business, and indeed of life. Anything that affects the various aspects of your lives eventually affects your business. It helps to have partners with stable family lives and no criminal records.
Do you still feel you’ll benefit from a partnership? Well, ensure that you have a solid agreement. Put every detail in writing. With your combined skills; you can sure take your business to the next level.
Image via Pixabay