Making decisions as the owner of a business can be a world of difficult choices, but none so much as deciding that your business requires a partner. It’s a critical, strategic decision for the business that you won’t want to get wrong.
Approach your search for the right business partner to suit your business as you would a life partner. As a major legal covenant, a partnership is not unlike a marriage of sorts in the business world. It’s also something that you won’t want to rush into. A good partnership requires:
You might already have an idea of what you are looking for when it comes to a business partner, but it’s still important to identify key aspects of what makes a good one.
A candidate for a business partner should possess skills and experience that can be brought to the table which complement that which you already possess. They may possess strengths that you simply do not, which can make it easier to start, plan, grow and run a business.
For example, you may be a customer relations extraordinaire but struggle with the operational aspect of business development. That might be the skillset you look for in a business partner.
If the candidate for a business partner can also provide you with the resources and credibility for your business on top of sharing your vision, this can be a gamechanger. Those resources could include a secure business network, industry connections, client list or specific credentials and expertise that can add value to your business.
You will need to be able to communicate effectively with your partner to make decisions, set goals and drive the business forwards. Aligning your values and business vision with your partners will help facilitate your business’s development and growth without hindrance.
If your prospective business partner is facing serious challenges in their life, they may translate over to the business. While giving someone a chance to challenge themselves is an honourable act, running a small business takes focus, time and tremendous energy that they may not be able to afford to give.
A partnership should be a mutual and trusting relationship. Someone who values honesty and practices good personal and business ethics should be at the top of your list. You don’t want to be involved with someone whose moral code does not align with yours, or who could get you involved in legal matters that may besmirch you and your business’s reputation.
Also, if you cannot respect your partner or they cannot respect you on a professional level, your ability to work as a team will suffer, and your clients will read into that as a lack of professionalism. Never partner with someone that you do not respect, or who does not respect you.
In the event that you choose or have chosen a business partner that is not right for you, make sure that everything agreed upon for the partnership was set out in writing, as breaking the partnership is no easy matter. With a lot of legal ramifications that you may face in dissolving the agreement at play, having evidence and a plan can save you plenty of grief.
For assistance with drawing up partnership agreements, business planning or simple advice on anything brought up here, you can speak with us.