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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Do You Need a Partner? Five Questions You Should Ask Yourself.

Written By: Josh MacDonald | Comments Off on Do You Need a Partner? Five Questions You Should Ask Yourself.

finding a partnerRunning a business by yourself is both time-consuming and stressful, which can lead you to a point in time where you might want to consider finding a partner. Before you and your new business partner can forge a successful working relationship together, you need to understand the skills that you bring to the table, and it’s also equally important to realize those of your future business partner.

You will want to consider:

1) Can you allocate enough time for the business to grow to its full potential?

If you are a busy business owner, there is only a limited amount of time available each day to get all of your tasks done. Time constraints always come into play, and there is only so much that your staff, either in-house or outsourced, can do to help.

As the amount of skilled people who can help you grow your business is limited, this is actually a hindrance to future business growth. Overcoming limitations such as this is easy enough in theory, but in practice can often be a difficult ask. This is where you need to sit down and have a “solid think” about whether teaming up with a business partner might be an effective long-term solution.

2) Do you have a partner in mind with complementary strengths to even out your weaknesses?

Running a business with a partner is a solid step to increasing productivity and reaching future growth goals. But, always ensure that whoever you choose has complementary strengths, which will enhance your own.

When you are looking for a business partner, it’s imperative that you don’t team up with a person who thinks, acts and can do the exact same things you can already do. While it is important that your partner has the same understandings as you and is on the same page, a complementary skillset is what you are looking for.

Collaboration is much more than just doubling your skillsets. The key to achieving business success is not trying to be someone else: It’s in understanding your own abilities and discovering how your partner’s complement your own.

3) Will a partner help motivate you to work harder and smarter?

The long-term success of a business relationship greatly depends on the happiness of both you and your business partner. It’s both of your jobs to ensure that both of your interests are protected, and that your shared business goals are being achieved.

The only long-term successful business relationships are the ones where each partner feels the relationship is mutually beneficial.

In the event that things are not going as planned, or if either you or your business partner are not happy with the business’s direction, it’s imperative that an initial business agreement or “prenup” be completed and agreed to, as this can be used to solve future disputes.

Business partnerships are similar to marriages, and things can go wrong – and you end up in a divorce. The problem with many business partnerships is that when they end, there is a lot of legal paperwork that needs to be sorted out, along with what to do with the business and disagreements between both partners.

While a business can end for many different reasons such as loss of interest, illness or partners falling out with each other, an initial prenup will protect your interests, investments and, most importantly, determine a clear path to follow in the event of a worst-case scenario.

4) Could past personal failures have been prevented if you had a solid partner?

Wise business owners understand that there is wisdom in learning from failure, yet many organisations often overlook this.

The majority of business partnerships believe that while failure is bad, learning from it is a straightforward experience. And by reflecting on where things went wrong, you will be able to avoid those mistakes in the future.

However, this line of thinking can be misguided. Failure is not always a bad thing, and regardless if you had a previous business partner or not, sometimes business faults can occur when the circumstances are well beyond your control.

5) Do you have enough money to hire an employee with these desired qualities?

One of the most-asked business questions at networking events held within the small- to medium-sized business community is “When is a good time to hire an employee, or would the business be best served with the option of taking on a partner instead?”

As a solo business owner, bringing on a new business partner can be a complicated process. You need to ask yourself:

  • What is the purpose of taking on a business partner?
  • Does the business need one for the extra capital they might bring?
  • Are you willing to listen to their ideas, long-term goals and overall direction?

In conclusion

If you decide that you need a business partner to help you with the day-to-day running of your business, you should keep in mind that this is not a decision to be taken lightly. Be sure that you protect yourself with a business prenup, and ensure you get the help you need by finding a partner with complementary skills.

Article written by
Josh MacDonald is an Internet entrepreneur who has sold thousands of licenses of his marketing software to agencies around the world throughout his teenage years. His website and blog is https://joshmacdonald.net and his latest project is http://shoutour.biz.