Business partnerships are a lot like marriages, in so, that this is a partnership that will have to stand up through many trials and tribulations. The partnership has to be strong, yet, flexible. Both partners have to bring to the table a willingness to stick it out; otherwise, you will be headed to quickie “divorce” in no time.
Establish early on your roles – one cannot lead and one be the “worker bee”. It’s a partnership, so both must agree to share the load. You know your value that you bring to the table, so agree to work with your strengths and divide the workload. Accept that before you bring more employees, both are going to have to accept that there is going to be a lot of dirty work that equally both will share.
Can Do Attitude – Let’s face it, if you loved working for the “man” you would still be working for one. Starting a business means you have want to work to finding solutions and see roadblocks as opportunities. It is your company, not someone else’s. So you have want to do it 24/7/365, not when you have a free moment. There is dedication that comes with starting a company, its sacrifice on both ends of the partnership. Have this conversation early in the partnership and set the boundaries early, make sure it’s understood, that both partners agree that there will not be any issue.
Fight Fair – In every marriage, a little rain must fall. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine. You are going to disagree. Set the boundaries here too. Establish how you will handle ethical issues, trust and determine each partner’s core value system. What destroys a start up faster? A partnership that isn’t build on a foundation of trust. This is critical.
Check your Ego at the Door – There is no room for “I” in this deal. If you discover that your partner is more self centered and checking his or her own reflection in the mirror….move on. This is not a partner for you. You want a partner who seeks collaboration. It’s a partnership, not a one-man band. You want someone who is seeking success for overall corporate goals, the common good of the team.
And here’s the secret sauce to top them all…it’s not about their business experience as much as it is what I call the three P’s – Passion, Perseverance and Patience…..if you find the right business partner with these character traits, hang on and go for the ride of your life . In business, it’s about timing; it’s about having the right partner, the right message and the stars aligning. All of the above come together and success is surely to come your way.