Starting a business with a partner can turn into a dicey situation if you do not handle the process carefully from the beginning. A lot of people have gone into partnerships without giving a thought on how the responsibilities and money demand will be shared. They get to find out midway into the business or when the business starts making money that the person they have considered a partner is nothing but a selfish person. This is just one of the common mistakes made by entrepreneurs which should be avoided.
Arguably, there is no guarantee that a person will not change his or her character towards the business at some point. However, there are ways you can at least try to sieve out the bad people when choosing a business partner.
Asking the following question will help you a great deal:
How trustworthy is the person?
If you are thinking about making someone your business partner, it should be someone you can trust. This might be someone you have done business with in the past and can, therefore, vouch for such a person or someone that is referred to you by a person that you hold in high regard. If you partner with such a person, there is a possibility that the person will be of good repute, although not certain. You can also take out some time to verify the person’s true character by asking for an attestation from people who have had dealings with the person in the past.
Will the person be willing to share and improve your business ideas?
It’s one thing to get a business partner and another thing to get someone that is ready to share your business ideas while coming up with their own supportive ideas. The saying that two good heads are better than one is evident and justifiable here. You don’t want to tag a partner who believes in withdrawing money over a bank counter to join you in your business of marketing ATM cards ideas to bank customers on behalf of a bank. That would be a disaster! Make sure both of you are on the same page and share the same passion for the business. It wouldn’t hurt if your partner is such that can come up with another interesting and profitable angle to the business that you never gave a thought to.
Is he or she a business-minded person?
Getting your friend to partner with you in your business might not be a great idea if such friend is not business-minded. If you fail to get someone who doesn’t know how to differentiate between a business relationship and the friendship you both share, then you may be on your way to failure. A business-minded person knows when it’s time for business and that there are some things that can be allowed in your relationship during business hours. Business-minded people tend to have the tenacity and sustained passion to see an idea through to reality.
Can the partner be trusted with funds?
This may be a little related to trust but it still differs. You can have someone who you can trust with your business ideas and this person can properly manage the business in your absence and still pull in a profit. However, there are some people whose weakness lies in managing funds. It is either such a person does not know how to spend money wisely or eats into the business funds uncontrollably. You sure want to spell out how the funds of the company will be spent and profits shared from the very beginning. If possible, get an accountant for the business and make sure that all funds are paid into a company account that requires both signatures before withdrawals can be done.
Can the partner share equal responsibilities?
By responsibilities, I don’t just mean sharing business ideas and roles, but also sharing the monetary requirements of the business. If your business partner is going to own the business with you on a 50-50 basis, you might as well share everything 50-50 including expenses. Detailed bookkeeping and regular communication are required in this instance, therefore you should iron these out before signing the dotted lines.
If all these questions can be answered, you will be in a great position to make that life-changing decision of sharing your driving seat with someone else. Even though I have mentioned that two good heads are better than one, sometimes it is better to go solo.
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