Dave Thomas

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Would a Business Partner Make Sense?

Dave Thomas

November 07, 2012

1.5/5.0 (2 votes total)

For those individuals who run small businesses or have the desire to do such, the thought of having a partner may cross their minds from time to time.

On one hand, having a partner can lessen both the time demands and financial requirements that come with running a small company. On the other hand, you can find it difficult sometimes to agree on matters ranging from looking to grow the business to hiring the next employee.

So, what are some things you should consider before investing in a business partner?

Among the factors to consider:

* A vision for the future - No partnership will work if one or both sides do not share the same small business vision moving forward. Before you even consider taking on a partner or partners, discuss the visions you have for the business. Do you plan to grow it slowly or quickly? Will you be taking on investors or using your own funds? Is hiring more employees or keeping the status quo likely to happen? Do you both have reserve funds in place if the business starts to take on water and needs a bailout? There are many things to discuss before a partnership can even begin to take flight:

* Map out strengths and weaknesses - As in any potential partnership, partners will have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, say you and a partner will be opening a new small business in the coming months. One of you is good hiring and overseeing employees, while the other is more directed towards finances. It is more than a good idea to map these things out ahead of time so that your new small business takes flight right away, and not be left running in circles;

* Set reasonable goals - While it may take some fine-tuning for you and your partner/s to get on the same page with a business moving forward, make sure you do just that. The goals should be both reasonable and attainable, giving your small business the best chance to succeed. With an economy that still has some investors worried, setting goals that are potentially out of reach can hamper your business;

* Work through disagreements - At some point and time there will inevitably be some disagreements. The key here is working through them so that they do not have the potential to have a major negative impact on the business. It is good to meet with your partner/partners on a regular basis to review how the company is doing, what are some things that can be done to improve it, and review what works in order to capitalize on that;

* Get it in writing - Whether your new partner or partners are longtime friends, new business investors or even family members, make sure you get all business plans in writing. Too often a verbal agreement ends up coming back to cause not only potential friction between people, but also lead to legal disputes. Make sure everything that needs to be documented is so that there is no room for legal haggling between partners.

While many small business owners do just fine building and running their own companies, having a partner or partners can open up new possibilities.

Are you ready to partner up on your small business dreams?


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