Coffee with Glen, CEO of Brazzlebox
Considering a business partner for your new venture? I have been asked by many people should they get a business partner or not to help start or further their business. Based on experience and some minor research here are some simple tips to consider.
1. Find a Partner That Shares Your Values, Entrepreneurial Spirit, and Vision:
You want to find someone who is willing to go the distance and do whatever it takes (WIT) to make the business a success. Of all the things to look for in a partner this is probably the most important. You will need to be able to communicate effectively with your partner to make decisions, set goals, and drive the business forward.
2. Find a Partner That Can Bring Skills and Experience to The Business:
Even though the word synergy has been overused you want someone that will equal your efforts and if this happens you could go twice as far in the same amount of time. A great article by Dave Smith (Inc): “Picture an old-fashioned covered wagon. Now, imagine your job is to pull that wagon. The wagon carries all of the concerns and goals of your business; understandably, this is a pretty heavy wagon, so you consider finding someone to help you pull it. A partnership would be mutually advantageous: someone would join you, at no extra cost, and help you pull the wagon. It’s more efficient, really. So you agree to a partner. Now, weeks or maybe even months later, you look up to realize your partner is sitting in the wagon. You’re the only one working.”
3. Look For a Partner Without A Lot of Personal Baggage:
Their baggage becomes your baggage – avoid, avoid, avoid. If your partner has serious challenges in his/her personal life it may carry over into the business. It is nice to be willing to give someone a chance, but running a small business takes focus, time, and tremendous energy. If your partner is dealing with one personal crisis after another you may find yourself carrying the weight of the business.
4. Respect: A Necessary Element to Forming a Successful Partnership
You should never partner with someone that you do not respect. The main purpose in forming a partnership is to achieve success as a team. You may not value the opinion and efforts of someone you do not respect at least on a professional level. You also want to partner with someone that will show you respect as a partner, business professional, and as the founder of your business.
A great statement from Mary Abbajay and Karen Bedell, co-founders of Careerstone Group LLC: A partnership can be the foundation of your business or it can be your complete undoing. If you assess strategically, choose wisely, and manage effectively, your partnership can be the cornerstone of your business, and of your success.
If you are going to set up a two-person partnership, it is essential to create an agreement of who will do what but also add to the agreement a plan for resolving disputes. A fifty-fifty partnership creates stalemates when disagreements arise. Having each partner take 49% and giving the remaining 2% to a mutually trusted outside individual can solve this. This person, then, can cast the deciding vote and avoid a deadlock. Also consider avoiding the equal partnership percentages with more than 2 partners, if 5 people are 20-20-20-20-20 then if things do not work out you will find yourself in a complete mess.
Consider the above and know that having no partner is better than dealing with a bad business partner. Brazzlebox.com will be filled with helpful resources that are relevant to you and your business in your own community. We will be launching nationally in 4400 cities soon so stay tuned.
Have a dynamic day!