It is not easy to start a business and get it up and running before you run out of cash. One challenge after another has to be faced and conquered, and you can be only so many places at once handling the crises. If you are considering taking in a partner, make sure you are able to deal with a different set of possible problems. But there are tips that can help you when you are working with a business partner.
Consider the fact that working closely with a business partner is not all that different from working at a marriage. There has to be absolute trust and open communication at all times…when things are good and when things are bad. You cannot afford the luxury of harboring resentment or frustration. If you think your partner is not doing his share and you are working yourself to death, both your relationship and your business are going to go down the tubes.
So consider this. If you are the type that must be in control all the time; that cannot share authority and still sleep at night…you probably will not succeed in a partnership. Unless, of course, you are lucky enough to find someone who absolutely loathes being the boss, and wants to share the workload, losses, and profits, but is perfectly happy with you making all the decisions.
Avoid being partners with your best friend, or with someone who you’re feeling sorry for and want to help. It is a sure way to lose a friendship…and maybe even your business.
While it is important that both you and your partner have the same goals, the same timelines, and the same ideas about spending, you do not need him to have the same skills as yours. It is far better if one of you is great at, say, marketing and sales, and the other is great at organization, figures, and has technical skills. This way, you have a complete package, and you are bound to succeed.
Partnerships should always be equal. The liability, the work load and the profits should be split down the middle. All rules should apply to you both. And have it in writing. Protect yourself, your partner, and the business legally. Your lawyers will cover all possibilities, such as splitting up, one of your dying, and what to do if anything goes wrong.