While some entrepreneurs prefer to run their business as a single proprietorship, there are businesses that need several individuals on board to make it succeed, hence a partnership.
Taking care of a business is like nurturing a newborn baby that needs a lot of help to grow. You want to find a partner who has the same level of commitment and enthusiasm you have, as well as the same business philosophies.
A business partner is someone whom you can trust with your vision, shares the same goals, and is 100 percent committed to the business. Remember, a partnership is a long-term and legal pact between two or more people.
A firm can fail if the business owner chooses a partner just because he/she is a close friend or family. There is nothing wrong with that, actually. But there are other more important things you must consider.
Get a partner who shares the same vision, commitment and values. In managing the business, effective communication is the key. It is best that both of you see eye to eye all the time. Differences in opinion should not lead to fights. Partners should be see both the pros and cons of a decision and realize which is more beneficial for the business.
Get a business partner with skills that can complement your own. You may have great interpersonal skills, but may lack accounting skills. The more skills both of you can bring into the business, the better.
Get someone who can bring in more than his time. You may need help financially in expanding the business. Get someone financially stable.
Get a partner with a good reputation. You don’t want someone who has a negative reputation in the community as this can affect your business and brand’s credibility.
Get a partner who can focus on the business. Don’t involve friends with emotional issues in the hope of distracting them from their problems.
Get partners who know how to make a business succeed. Find someone with the right business ethics, who can carry a conversation that uplifts the company.
I always emphasize with the people I work with that it is extremely important that you know how to deal with others in the most appropriate manner- knowing how to speak clearly, coming to a meeting with the appropriate clothes, and also being careful with hand gestures and your overall appearance. Impressions are important.
Most importantly, get a partner that you respect. You need to bring in someone that you trust and who trusts you in return. This creates a harmonious relationship that can have a positive impact on your company.
You need to define roles and responsibilities for both of you to function well. Although both of you may have the right to speak your thoughts, compromise is the key to a healthy business relationship.
Decide each partner’s level of involvement. Partners should know how to amicably settle disagreements.
For low level decisions, one partner may just have the last say.
For mid-level decisions, you might want to consider having a vote.
For high level decisions, consider seeking help from a third party so that a resolution can be made and be used to decide a similar issue in the future.
Have a quarterly partnership review so that partners can point out what works and what does not. This will also allow you to innovate and implement new strategies that can help the business grow.
Finding the right person may be difficult, particularly if you do not know anyone as much. So, I suggest that you also become active in the business community and mingle with fellow entrepreneurs. Who knows? There might be just one waiting to be asked.
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