Many entrepreneurs tend to do everything themselves, from marketing to bookkeeping and more. Partners can fill gaps in your skillset and take a heavy burden off your shoulders. If you find the right partner, that is.
Bringing on the wrong partner can lead to unfair situations, like disproportionately shared workload or benefits. That’s why it’s important to choose your business partner carefully. If you’re considering starting a small business with a partner, there are a few things you should know.
5 Questions to Ask Before Bringing in a Partner
Bringing a partner into your business can affect not only how your business runs but also how healthy your relationship is outside of business. This can be especially true if you’re planning to work with someone you see often, like a close friend or family member. Before signing on the dotted line, ask yourself these five questions:
- Do you trust this person even outside of business?
- Do you share the same vision and values?
- Have you discussed communication style and conflict resolution?
- Have you clearly divvied up responsibilities?
- Have you discussed how to keep the relationship healthy outside of business?
If you don’t have an answer to any of these questions, go back to the drawing board. You may need to make adjustments in your business plan, change how roles are shared, or have more in-depth discussions. Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can help your business run smoothly and keep your partnership strong.
10 Tips To Have a Smooth Partnership
Along with asking yourself important questions, you should also consider some key signs about whether your business partnership is the right fit. Follow these 10 tips to make sure your partnership stays strong and runs smoothly.
- Remember personal feelings don’t necessarily equate to business potential.
- Nurture the relationship outside of business settings.
- Understand each other’s habits with time and money.
- Have an action plan if the business closes.
- Make sure you can confide in each other.
- Make sure you can trust each other to follow through with big responsibilities.
- Know how to avoid or resolve conflicts with each other.
- Avoid nepotism.
- Clearly divide up tasks and role responsibilities.
- Avoid gossip by keeping business matters out of shared social circles.
If you follow these important considerations, your partnership will be set up to succeed. You can go into business together knowing you’ve found the right partner!