As an entrepreneur, you are used to juggling a variety of responsibilities. Even if you prefer doing it alone, the time may come when a business partner becomes an integral part of business growth and development.
It may not be easy to delegate responsibilities to someone who doesn't answer to you. On the other hand, it may be gratifying to have someone complimenting your skillset and sharing your worries.
If you are thinking about a business partner, let's consider the pros and cons of such a collaboration.
Advantages of a Business Partnership
Let's start with the pros:
The second set of hands — you can share tasks and responsibilities while gaining more time to focus on business growth and development.
Additional skillset — you may be great at making products but have little knowledge about selling them or vice versa. A business partner with experience can fill your skill gaps.
Financial help — if you are just starting a business, sharing financial responsibilities can help you afford higher-quality retail space, equipment, inventory, etc. while avoiding large debt amounts.
A second perspective — doubting important decisions is something business owners can't avoid. Having someone with a fresh perspective on various aspects of running a business can help you make smarter and faster decisions.
Support — running a business can be frustrating, overwhelming, and psychologically difficult. Having someone share your worries while putting their heart into the company can make it easier for you to achieve business goals.
Overall, a business partner shares your work, responsibilities, worries, and satisfaction while providing a fresh perspective, financial support, and professional opinion.
Disadvantages of a Business Partnership
While it's possible to find a perfect partner, such collaboration is bound to come with some difficulties.
Shared decisions — you can't make decisions without consulting your business partners.
Disagreements — you and your partner are bound to have disagreements. Working them out can be stressful.
Split profits — without a partner, all profits are yours. When you work with a partner, be ready to split them.
Just as you share responsibilities, worries, and work, you have to be ready to share decisions and profits. If the pros outweigh the cons, you may want to consider searching for a business partner.
How to Find a Business Partner
When looking for a business partner, explore the following pools:
Former or existing colleagues — they are likely to have the necessary skillsets and mindsets similar to yours.
Family and friends — you are more likely to trust these people more than you would someone from the outside. But you should remember that working with family and friends could negatively affect your relationship.
The Internet — many websites exist to match you with a perfect business partner. You can start with:
When choosing the right partner for your business, consider the following:
Your partner should be someone you can trust.
The partner should be passionate about your business.
The partner should have a complementary skillset.
You should like your partner.
Many experts compare a business partnership to marriage. To make it work, partners need to have similar views, values, and goals. However, when you enter an agreement, you should work out a clear exit strategy.
Making the Right Decision
Successful partnerships helped build great businesses like Apple (Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak), Twitter (Evan Williams and Biz Stone), and Microsoft (Bill Gates and Paul Allen).
However, poor partnerships resulted in ruined companies like CBS Records (Clive Davis and David Wynshaw) and Rockefeller & Andrews (John D. Rockefeller and Maurice Clark).
It's hard to predict the outcome of a partnership. If you decide to invite a business partner, doing your best during the selection phase can set the stage for the entire collaboration.