There are simple ways you can ensure your partnership lasts thanks to a strong bond you’ve built.
If you’re starting your own business, you have an opportunity to choose the team of people who will work with you. However, no matter if you’re choosing a close friend, family member, a former colleague or a complete stranger, don’t expect everything to go smoothly. Like a marriage, a business partnership can simply not work or even end up in a messy parting of ways. However, there are ways you can ensure your partnership lasts thanks to a strong bond you’ve built.
Find mutual goals and values
Before you start writing your business plan, make sure you know your partner’s dreams, goals and visions for your mutual business. Do you want to start a huge franchise while your partner wants to keep things local, authentic and part-time to have plenty of space for other activities and interests? You and your partner need to have shared values and goals if you want things to last.
Choose the right business structure
There are many ways you can organize your business. You can go with a general partnership, limited partnership or limited liability partnership. There are also C corporations and S corporations. Look into these different business structures, study their advantages and disadvantages and consult with your partner and your lawyer (experts will offer the best help with determining what kind of business structure best fits you).
Choose someone with complementary skills
While people with similar skills and knowledge usually get along well, having different strengths will allow you to double up your skills and lift your small business of the ground faster. Imagine an introvert tech expert working with an extrovert sales, marketing and people-skill expert. They will become an unstoppable team. Both can focus on what they do best and build something truly high-quality and successful.
Establish clear roles
A casual business organization where everyone jumps in when and where they are needed might work for a short time, but you will need to define each partner’s role and duties if you want your partnership and your company to survive. This will eliminate disagreements and everyone will benefit from knowing that every part of the job will be handled.
Don’t rely on expectations
Having an open mind when jumping into a partnership is very important. Try to manage your expectations and avoid making any assumptions. You only know a person based on your mutual interaction, but you need to accept them as they are, not shape them into something you wish they were. If you have some prejudice, your partnership will probably not go far.
You might tend to show your appreciation through words, but that’s not enough. In order to build something strong and lasting, you need to go beyond mere words. Let’s say your partner often travels to Brisbane and struggles with transportation. Here’s a great solution: contact a reliable car rental in Brisbane and surprise them with a nice vehicle that will ensure they make it to the meeting in comfort. This little gesture takes very little money and time on your part, but it will show your appreciation and care. A small birthday gift is also a nice gesture that’s not required but means a lot.
Establish good communication
Communication is vital for any relationship, business relationships included, so make sure to open many practical channels of communication. Communicating over emails is practical, but it’s not enough. Consider other services like calls and IM services. Once per week, you should have a meeting and have eye-to-eye talks in private. This will help you resolve any disagreements with each other and the outside parties, and allow you to look at things from a unified front perspective.
Being honest is also very important if you want to make your partnership last through all the hardships that await you. Don’t disregard your feelings because you don’t want to jeopardize your partnership—this will cause more problems down the line. Both of you must be comfortable to share opinions and resolve any disagreements. This will ensure there’s no bitterness, resentment and any bad blood between you that might force you to go your separate ways or even destroy your business.
Make it official
No matter who you’re starting your business with, a stranger or your best friend, make sure to draw up a legal document that will define your business relationship, capital contribution, methods of decision making and conflict resolving. Also, include what will happen in case one partner decides to leave the relationship. It’s important to consider all the things that can go wrong and find the best way to handle them. When you have everything in writing, it’s much easier to handle difficulties.
When you’re so excited about your new business and can’t wait to start working with your partners, it’s not easy to discuss and think about your partnership choices. However, if you take the time to build a good foundation for your business partnership, you can expect to have a long-lasting relationship and create a much more successful business.