When Is It Time For A Business Partner?

For someone starting a business, deciding if and when to get a business partner can be tricky, especially since the business is your baby. But as an entrepreneur you have to look at the bigger picture — for the business to grow. Now.. I’m not saying you need a partner for a business to grow but when building a solid team and adding someone to the team that see’s the big picture while splitting work loan can only be a plus. Here are 4 ways you’ll know you need a business partner and some tips for picking the right one.

1. You know a lot… but not all

Let’s say you’re opening a restaurant this year. You are amazing with customers and a heck of cook but your eyes gloss over when it comes to managing the finances and people. Bringing in a business partner who’s financially savvy could provide the balance in skills you need. The two of you can divide and conquer your tasks so that the business is rounded out in every aspect.

2. So many decisions, so little time

Sure, it’s easy enough to delegate what to post on your business social media board or how to answer the phone, but there could be other big administrative decisions you struggle with. Having another business ambassador on board can ensure that you make the right decision every time for the business — even if it’s because you need a sounding board. Or, if you and your partner excels in a different area, you can trust them to handle the decisions concerning that specific item so you can work on other parts of the business.

3. Your vision is bigger than the bank account

As many of the great entrepreneurs of our day state, if you’re going to think — think big. Where the proper steps have to be taken in business the vision is essential and if you want to move faster you need the talent. Starting out — you may not be able to pay quality person(s), so making them a partner can always be an alternative. The initiative is off the paycheck and working towards the goal payday.

4. You need an investor

Sometimes seeking funding from a venture capitalist or other investor automatically gives you a business partner. If you work with someone who has deep industry knowledge and connections, that partner could help you skyrocket your business to levels you couldn’t master on your own.

Tips for choosing the right partner

You might already have someone in mind to partner with in your new business. Before getting into the conversation, consider:

  • Does their skills complement my own?
  • Could we work together well every day?
  • Can we communicate efficiently with egos in the way?
  • Is he or she professional and entrepreneurially driven?
  • Would they be considered an asset to my company?

I’ve seen it many times and also have experienced it myself — working with friends or family can sometimes create issues that you can’t see at the during the initial conversation; take that into consideration when you think partnering together seems like a genius idea. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize your personal relationship.

Work out an agreement that outlines the responsibilities of each partner, as well as compensation and any exit clause information. It’s a good idea to have a lawyer review this document before you both sign it.

The key to a successful partnership aside from communication is letting each partner have space to make decisions. Your staff should never question whom they should report to. Even if you disagree on something, don’t argue in front of your staff.

Discuss payout upfront. If your partner is investing in the company, document what percent of your company they’ll own, and how it will received should they want to continue as a partner down the road.

Even if you haven’t considered bringing on a business partner, consider it. Your work will be cut in half, and you’ll have the benefit of someone else’s wisdom in running your business. There’s great power in numbers.