Building a burgeoning business can be a more attainable aspiration when you are flanked by the right partner, someone to bounce ideas off of, communicate with, and who can offer a second useful set of eyes on all aspects of the company.
While that all sounds comforting for the soon-to-be business owner, finding an ideal co-owner requires patience because you are scanning the field for someone with a specific set of skills to pool with your own.
Nitche Ward, a reputable entrepreneur from Atlanta, GA, reviews some of the core features in any thriving business partnership.
United Vision and Values
Before finalizing a partnership arrangement, it is vital that both of you are aligned in your beliefs, standards, and long-term vision for the business, Nitche Ward says. There will be a constant need to settle questions or disputes on this new foray, which is why it is essential that the meeting of the minds is conflict-free. You don’t want to commence a partnership impetuously, then experience frustration and disagreement at the first critical step. Halving an investment, risk, or workload through a partnership is only feasible when the two parties are entirely on the same page from the outset.
A Complimentary Combination
Partnerships that persist and persevere are often a result of various talents that serve to complement the two individuals, Nitche Ward notes. Although you’ll want a shared vision for the business’s future, your partner should be someone whose strengths differ from your own, at least in some fashion. What might be a problematic, headache-inducing area for yourself can be in line with your partner’s forte. Identify your value, exactly where your talents are best utilized, and allow your partner to oversee the details that are outside of your expertise. Otherwise, frailties in the partnership and relationship will quickly materialize.
Adopt a Simple Approach
After picking your partner, avoid the temptation to think that additional bodies (lawyers, accountants, and employees) are the next piece of the puzzle. Let the business blossom naturally and, in due time, organize the add-ons rather than rushing to fill every imaginable role. Concentrate on what you are creating, allow verve to lead you and address the building blocks as they come.
Communication is Crucial
Conflicts are an inevitable challenge in any partnership, regardless of how well in sync the co-leaders are, Nitche Ward claims. A willingness to communicate will likely resolve these disputes, particularly when each side understands the necessity for constructive collaboration and compromise. Hard, unpleasant conversations are encountered by all businesses, early and often, so you and your partner have to accept this fact. One method of continuing this openness to communicate is by holding standing calls or meetings on a weekly basis, as it provides a suitable means of addressing any dragging topics.
Reflect and Respond
Elite business partners are keen on planning and strategizing because it focuses on reviewing the company’s progression towards its goals, Nitche Ward suggests. Every few weeks, they should set aside a few hours to consider the business’s achievements, any adjustments that are deemed important and developing smaller objectives that forge a path to fulfilling the long-term vision. A pre-existing power-sharing agreement ought to be put in place to handle any issues, such as payments or finances, that you and your partner can’t seem to settle. Talk it out, sort it out, and stay on course with your business model.
A Partnership Agreement
Put your expectations in writing. A partnership agreement can begin as a draft and later be revised. Just make sure you cover all of your bases efficiently, clearly answering the significant questions. What sort of schedule will be adhered to? What happens if one partner disagrees with a decision? What are the financial ramifications? Who has the ultimate power when a final answer is needed? What is the protocol if one partner wishes to branch out and attempt a lone enterprise? How is the partnership ended? Best to cross off all of these boxes immediately because you will be positioned to prevail over obstacles and reinforce the partnership.
Protect Your Interests, Legally
Neither you nor your partner might think that there’s even a remote possibility of parting ways, but varying opinions, apathy and boiling tensions can separate any dynamic duo. If, despite your best efforts at salvaging the relationship, you cannot work in cohesion, you should throw in the proverbial towel. Your partnership agreement, established long before this development ensued, should stipulate the terms of a potential separation, though a mediator can always be called in to complete the process.
Respect Each Other, Says Nitche Ward
A partnership founded on respect will produce an affiliation that, best-case scenario, excels in business, or, worst-case scenario, preserves a mutual appreciation if things simply did not work out as you envisioned. Whatever the case, no bridges will be burned and there is a decent, realistic chance that the two of you will join forces again someday. Don’t exploit your partner’s shortcomings. Avoid making a decision without considering their thoughts. And hold each other accountable for mistakes, misjudgments, and misinterpretations.