Choosing a business partner is a crucial decision you’ll need to make what starting a business. Not every business requires you to have a partner, so you will have to ask yourself several questions before you go seeking out a partner in crime. As the saying goes, two is better than one, so there are many benefits of partnering.
What do they have that you don’t?
The primary point of having a partner is for them to bring skills, knowledge and expertise that you don’t have to the table. Figure out what it is that you’re lacking and how a partner will fill those shoes. Do you they have the capital you need? Better Ideas? Stronger strategies? A more robust network?
Is outsourcing a better option?
You may find after doing the aforementioned point that the skills you lack you won’t need on board for a long period of time, or you’re better off just hiring an employee to fill those gaps. Having a partner means you’ll be sharing equity and part ownership of course means they have more control. Also consider that sharing equity equally could lead to a vicious power struggle which is every business owner’s nightmare.
Is the partnership sustainable?
Sustainability cannot always be predicted as interests change and life happens to all of us. There are however some things to consider when thinking about sustainability such as how well you get along, if you’re compatible, if this potential partner is greedy, if you’re able to resolve conflicts and come to a common ground, and if you’re headed in the right direction.
Do you share the same vision?
Vision is going to somewhat be your compass when you’re running a business. Your partner needs to have a similar if not the same vision as you if you want the partnership to last in the long haul. It will help you meet halfway when conflicts arise as you’ll both always look at the bigger picture.
What happens if the partnership has to end?
We all start a business hoping it will last forever, but it doesn’t always work out that way. If for any reason someone offers to buy the business or you decide to dissolve the partnership, what will be the financial terms? How much would your partner want to dissolve his entity for? These are all key questions that should be asked before finalizing things.
We have all seen what good a partnership can do in a business as well as heard of the damage it can cause in the same respect. Carefully consider whether a partner is truly what you need and proceed from there with caution.