People go into business with a partner for several reasons. They may be family members or friends who want to work together. Some partners join because one has the money and the other has the idea and drive. No matter what the reason, partnerships have just as many risks as any other type of business.
Before you go into business with a partner, consult with a group like LawAlways. It is important to know what you are getting into before you go into business with someone else. These are a few things to know prior to forming the partnership.
1. What do you both bring to the deal?
Before you decide to partner with someone, even if it’s your sibling, you must recognize what you are each bringing to the deal. You should both offer something that the other doesn’t have. For example, one of you might be good at managing a website, while the other is outstanding at working with the public. Your relationship in the business should be symbiotic.
2. What values do you share?
Your business will benefit from you both having shared values. If you are constantly bickering about ethical decisions, they will never be made and your business will suffer. The best partners do a values inventory before they sign on the bottom line. Knowing what is important to each other makes sharing a business more pleasant.
Since we make major decisions using our values, knowing how your partner will behave helps you better react and work with them. It is helpful to know what values you share, and where you differ, so you can understand the best way to communicate with each other.
3. What roles will you play in the partnership?
As you both cannot serve in the same roles in the partnership. To make your partnership function, you each must have a set role. Neither of you will want to overstep your boundaries, but you both have to be able to take each other’s place if something happens. Before you commit, sit down and plan out your job descriptions. Be ready to evaluate them regularly as things change.
4. What are your planned time commitments for the business?
When you have your own business, you often spend what seems like more than 24 hours per day thinking about it and working on it. But, with a partnership, you can divide the time commitment. Both of you will need to be together at times, and there will be time when you can take turns being there. You will both need to sleep and have some time away from the business, and from each other.
6. How will you solve disagreements?
Skipping this step could be devastating to your business. You will have disagreements, and it is best that you figure out how to resolve them before they happen. If you do not develop a plan, your first disagreement could be your last, as it could destroy your partnership before it even gets going.