So, you've decided to seek out a new business partner? Much like dating, you're going to need to kiss a few frogs before meeting the right match for you and your business. Before committing be sure to consider these ten points to avoid getting stuck in a bad long-term relationship.
1. Do Your Homework
Knowing who you are going into business with is an important first step. Check out their past business ventures, learn about their successes and failures, and what their working partners have said about them.
You don't want to jeopardise your reputation or business success by partnering with someone who isn't trustworthy.
2. Valuable Additions
Starting a new partnership can be a big commitment. So, you want to make sure that the connection is going to be a mutually beneficial arrangement. Avoid wasting your time and energy on unproductive relationships by asking yourself these questions:
- What are they going to bring to the business?
- Are these additions beneficial to your current situation?
- What are they going to get out of this relationship?
Review whether the relationship is necessary—don't enter into a new partnership without having clear goals for the outcome of the venture.
Review whether your potential partner has similar ambitions and values to yourself. Business partnerships can be an intimate and sometimes confronting relationship. Without similar virtues you are bound to experience more tension and conflict.
Steer clear of incompatible relationships and save yourself the headache.
Passion is a key ingredient for success. Make sure that you assess the passion and the vision driving the business. Don't enter into an agreement with a business whose vision is unambitious or worn-out… unless you want to be stuck doing all the work!
5. Do They Challenge You?
Find someone who challenges you. If you want to make the most out of this partnership, look for someone who won't let you take the easy option. Having someone to keep you focused will be sure to help your business grow.
Do you AND your partner have the time to put into this partnership to make it a success?
Don't enter into an agreement without being in the right position, and having the time needed to make the most of it—don't damage your reputation and sabotage future opportunities by starting something that you won't be able to see through.
7. Partner or Consultant?
Are you sure that a partnership is the right course of action to take full advantage of the benefits of this relationship?
If you're offering equity, determine if the arrangement is better suited as a contract or employment opportunity.
8. Test it Out
Discuss the possibility of conducting a trial run with your potential partner. This may provide you with the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the people you will be working with, the compatibility of your personalities, and the possible partnership dynamics.
9. Contracts & Legal Issues
Deciding on the parameters of your partnership can be a good exercise for understanding the business mentalities of the people you are going to be partnered with. Are they happy to negotiate or are they single-minded and self-orientated? Make sure to take advantage of every opportunity to learn more about your potential partners.
10. Review & Communicate
Be sure to check up with your new partner from time to time to discuss how your relationship is progressing and air any concerns, queries, and propose new ideas.
Consider these points before starting a new partnership. It could save you some of the heartache from jumping into a bad business relationship.
Be sure to get in touch with Mo Works Creative Agency to find out how our full-stack in house capabilities across design, development, marketing and community management can help to fuel your company's success in Australia and beyond.