If you want to go into business, and feel it is better, and safer, not to do so alone, a business partnership is what you need. But before you do this, be aware that there are important factors to be considered when doing so. Getting a good “fit” is important, but you will also need to know how to keep that relationship working once your business is going. Here are some tips for finding, and keeping, a business partner:
- When you approach a potential business partner, have something to offer.
- Your partner should be someone with equal amount of understanding and knowledge of the endeavor you are embarking on. Your goals should be the same. Your ways of going about it should at least be similar. The amount of risk you are willing to take should be understood and agreed upon.
- Put those goals and risks in writing and refer to them now and then to keep your perspective.
- Before you agree on this partnership, ask yourself if this is a person you want to deal with, daily, for the rest of your working life.
- Partners need to have total trust in each other.
- Rumor and gossip are a part of all business. If you hear something negative about your partner, do not simply believe it and accuse him. Confrontation will destroy trust.
- You are going to be sharing both the problems and the successes of this business venture. You will not always agree as to method. Listening, discussing, and understanding each other is of great importance.
- Know the reasons that each partner is entering into the agreement. It may be that one of you has the money and the other has the expertise. That is fine, as long as you agree on the goals and risks involved before you sign a contract.
- If one of you is stronger than the other in a certain aspect of the business, depend on that strength. Perhaps your dealings with vendors are more effective, but he is a whiz at customer service. Remember that what you each do best benefits both of you.
Your personal goals may change as the years go by. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as the goals you set together with your partner are not compromised.