A major perk of starting your own business is that you get to choose the people with whom you work. However, if you plan on going into business with a close friend, relative, or colleague, be prepared for some challenges. Just like a marriage, a business partnership is full of ups and downs, and you won’t always agree on everything.
To develop a successful partnership in your new business venture, follow the tips below:
Decide on a Location
Finding a good location for your business is almost as important as the business itself. Unfortunately, many new businesses operate on a tight budget, making it difficult to secure the ideal location to set up shop.
To lessen the stress and make things easier, consider finding a serviced office space for rent in an area that’s convenient for both of you. This will give you a professional address, receptionist services, and equipment, as well as access to professional boardrooms. Best of all, it means you’re both on equal footing, and neither of you has to have your living space taken over by the new business.
Discuss Your Vision
Before you begin creating your business plan, be sure your partner shares the same values, goals, and vision you do. If you envision a small bakery that allows you personal time to spend with family, but your partner wants to create the next Starbucks, the two of you are going to butt heads sooner rather than later.
Even if one partner gives in to the other’s visions, eventually, resentment will ruin the relationship and possibly the business. Not agreeing on some of the little things is okay – you can work together for a solution – but not agreeing on the big things can spell disaster before you even get started.
Look for a Partner with Different Skills than Your Own
When each partner possesses different skills, you automatically double your resources and knowledge. For example, if you’re a skilled IT expert who loves all things tech-related, a partner who knows and understands sales, marketing, and/or customer service will be the perfect complement to your skillset.
Choose a Partner with Whom Share a Connection
You don’t necessarily have to have worked together before, but your business partner should be someone with whom you have a positive past. Trust is the crucial ingredient here. You should have overcome conflict together or achieved mutual success in the past to begin a partnership built on trust and respect.
Note: This isn’t to say that you can’t build a successful partnership with someone you don’t know. If they share the same vision, working toward a common goal together could foster a strong bond that contributes to a long, successful partnership.
Define Each Person’s Duties and Responsibilities
In the beginning, it might work to just handle tasks and issues as they come, with whichever partner is available at the time taking charge. However, once the business has grown and more employees are brought on board, not defining roles can lead to confusion and disagreements.
To keep things fair and equitable, clearly define each partner’s role. That way, each of you will be able to retain control over your respective domains, and employees will know who to go to in times of need.
Starting a new business is an exciting time, but if you’re launching with a partner, you need to take a few extra steps to ensure a successful and lucrative partnership. The tips above should help you lay solid groundwork for a lasting partnership. Good luck!
Photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com / Unsplash