Some people are notorious for only flying solo, but most of us are team players. Everything is at least a little bit easier when you have someone to share your ups and downs with. When it comes to the choice of partners, business can be a lot like love. There are certain do’s and don’ts, rules to play by, and a lot of common sense. You need to know your partner well, and make sure you are on the same wavelength. Believe it or not, sometimes you might even need to woo them a little. Here are some thoughts on what works, and what doesn’t.
Don’t Jump in Headfirst
The key in business partnerships is trust. This is a person you are building a future with. You need to know their history and everything in their present that might be relevant when starting a company. Knowing your partner’s financial situation, level of commitment, goals, reputation and even personality is absolutely crucial. It is important that both parties are open and honest. If you are going to work together, you can’t hold back or have hidden motives, and neither can your partner. The main fields that need to be completely transparent are finances and legal issues. If a person has legal problems that would hinder future business decisions, or financial issues such as large debts, bad spending habits or a low credit score, partnering with them might not be the best idea.
While it’s normal to discuss and make big decisions together, both of you don’t need to be equally informed and involved in every detail of every aspect of the job. However, to ensure that everything is covered, it’s best to create a clear organization and divide tasks and responsibilities equally. This will prevent misunderstandings, lessen the risk, and lower the chances of an uneven workload.
Make Sure Your Goals Are Aligned
The most important thing in any business partnership is to have a shared vision and to work together toward achieving it. Going into a venture with someone whose attitude, wishes and expectations differ radically from your own, naively thinking that you will work out your differences later, is far from wise. Remember that at the beginning, you are both enthusiastic and bonded by your desire to succeed. But as time passes, and with it the honeymoon phase, minor differences can start to grow bigger. It is especially important to work out financial details, such as expenses. Depending on your budget, you might agree to hire corporate cars , or provide free lunch for your employees, but these decisions must be agreed upon by both partners.
Don’t Forget About Friendship
When you are thinking about building a business empire, it’s easy to get lost in talk of money and legal details. However, don’t overlook one important fact: you need to like your partner. No matter how much they can invest, no matter what skills they have, if you don’t get along, it just won’t work. The most successful partnerships in the world of business, like Jobs and Wozniak, stemmed out of friendship. Find time for team building activities and nurture communication. Spend time together, and try to have fun. Get to know each other outside the realm of business. If you build a strong sense of togetherness in your company, it will boost productivity and trust, and success will surely follow.
Don’t rush into a partnership. Just like you wouldn’t marry someone you’ve known for a week, you shouldn’t commit to a partnership with a person you don’t know well enough. Just like marriage, a business partnership requires a lot of trust, patience and work. And just like in marriage, splitting up from your business partner is usually messy and expensive.
This article has been written by Diana Smith. Diana is a full time mom and is interested in topics related to marketing and latest business technologies.