quick and easy lessons about striking up a successful business partnership
face it. No matter how much we’d like to be, none of us are
good at everything.
world of business—increasing competition, bottom-line implications,
time=money, never-ending pressure for “better, faster, cheaper”
services and products—things can get pretty hectic.
nice to be able to build a business together with someone who respects
your talents, and who can complement yours with their own.
Dell comes to mind here. In his book, Direct from Dell, he talks
about several occasions throughout the early years of his business,
when he realized that he needed to hire someone whose talents and
expertise complemented and built up from his own. In fact, he says,
he absolutely could not have grown the business or taken it to the
next level repeatedly without their partnership.
lesson here is this: Know your strengths, know what you lack, then
find what’s missing in the form of a partner
you good at? Are you good at marketing, got a great idea, but don’t
quite know how to execute it and build a business from it?
you’re great at building start-ups, but not especially good
at managing them day to day once they’ve grown and require
a structure and management of employees?
what you’re good at, and be honest about what you can bring
to a new business. Learn about what makes for a great entrepreneur,
and honestly assess your talents. Just because you might not have
everything on the list, doesn’t mean you can’t start
a business. You can; you just might need some help. Perhaps, a partner?
what you lack
considering where you may be lacking in the successful entrepreneur
profile can help you determine what characteristics, skills, and
attributes you should look for in a partner.
people who might fit the bill, and inquire about past examples that
demonstrate the talents and characteristics you’ll need.
found someone interested and willing, and fitting the bill, then
how should you proceed?
successful partnership requires three things:
1. Clear agreement of roles: Who will contribute what, how often,
how much, along what criteria, and for what return?
2. Clear agreement on mission: What are you working towards? What’s
going to make your service or product differentiate itself from
everything else out there?
3. Honesty and integrity: Is this the kind of person you can trust
and share any kind of information with? A friend of mine in a partnership
once said to me, “I sometimes feel like I’m more married
to my partner than to my husband.”
a business can be hard, but challenging work.
even better if you can find a like-minded individual to share in
the work and reward.
clear expectations, creating a fair exchange of value, and building
a shared vision together can pave the way to some of the most rewarding
realities of a shared entrepreneurial venture.