Is it Time to Partner Up?

horserace.jpgStarting or running a business is a massive undertaking. Often, it proves to be too much work for one person to do alone. Finding a partner can therefore be crucial.

If you are thinking about the options for bringing a partner into your business, consider these tips for how to partner up successfully.

Consider your personalities

No matter how well you might get along with someone as family or friends, you may not have compatible personalities in terms of running a business together. Oftentimes, partners work best when their personalities complement each other. Conflicting, combative, or overly similar personalities may not work well together when it comes to achieving business goals.

Also, think about how you each address conflict as well as the emotions of running a business. If you and the other person cannot disagree, have meaningful  discussions, or express yourselves effectively, running a business together could ultimately be unsuccessful.

Be open and honest

You and a potential partner may have the same ambitions or goals for a business, but do you have the same vision for how to best reach those goals? Do you know how much effort each of you is willing to put into the business? What will you do if there is a dispute?

These are just some of the critical details you would be wise to discuss before bringing on a partner. As this Forbes article suggests, talking openly and honestly (and at length) with someone during the planning phase is crucial. It can make it easier to understand each person’s intentions, ambitions, strengths and weaknesses.

Have a solid agreement in place

If you do decide to bring on a partner, do not assume a handshake or verbal agreement will suffice. Even if you trust each other implicitly and have never argued in your lives, you may not have ever entered this type of partnership before. The stakes and expectations could be unlike anything either party has experienced before.

Protecting yourselves with a partnership agreement will therefore be critical. This document can outline your responsibilities, clarify expectations, and provide directions for resolving conflicts. Having a clear, valid agreement in place can be the solid foundation upon which you build a successful partnership.