Better Together: Essentials for a Successful Business Partnership

Modern society glorifies individualism and the concept of self. Innovative platforms have enabled us to become self-taught in numerous fields, making education more accessible to people worldwide. The rise of feminism has liberated women from the singular, purely domesticated trajectory that once epitomized the gender; women, once expected to acquiesce to a life at home, are now encouraged to pursue their own interests. Mediums of expression, such as YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, spurned a trend of online divulgence that revolves around users’ eagerness to publicly display their personal lives.

Partnership

This cultural shift, one that characterizes the new millennium, has trickled over to the world of business as well. The recently coined term “solopreneur,” referring to an entrepreneur who spearheads every aspect of their company, has become more common in recent years. Riding on the belief that it is possible for one person to create success on their own accord, successful solopreneurs strive to reap the fruits of their labor without having to distribute them amongst other baskets.

However, a single-lane road to the top is more treacherous and lonelier than one that can accommodate additional travelers. Many business experts advise entrepreneurs to think beyond the power of one and consider investing in partnerships to leverage one’s company. After all, business today is very complicated–it’s a lot for one person to do alone and it’s hard to hire top-level talent. If you have a partner, you can really multiply what you can accomplish.

To ensure that you enter into a reliable and fulfilling partnership, the Maui coaches and I recommend going over our list of 9 “Bottom Lines” to address with your future partner:

  1. Get your agreement in writing.
  2. Make sure you share common values and visions.
  3. Integrity is a MUST in any choice of partners.
  4. Evaluate your prospective partner’s past exits from business and personal relationships to see what those reveal about his or her behavior, should your business relationship end in the future.
  5. Put the onus on making the partnership work out. Make it less favorable to leave or quit the partnership.
  6. Divide up contributions all the partners are making to the business and put an equitable value on each of their contributions. Rewards and control should follow contribution and risk.
  7. Choose the right legal structure at the start of the partnership.
  8. Get your written agreement done during the “honeymoon” stage of the partnership – up front!
  9. Consider doing a “one off” joint venture to see what it’s like working together first, before you jump into a long-term business partnership.

A business partnership necessitates patience, diligence and compromise, but the payoff ultimately can catalyze exponential growth for one’s business that would not have been possible otherwise.

About the Author:

Maui Mastermind Chief Catalyst and COO Patty DeDominic is an accomplished entrepreneur who was named CEO of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal, inducted into the Women’s Business Owners Hall of Fame, is the former Chairperson of the Foundation for SCORE, and a former President of the National Association of Women Business Owners. In 1991 DeDominic acquired CT Engineering and grew it, and her other company PDQCAREERS, into one of California’s top employers with a staff over over 600 people across 30 states. In 2006, she sold her businesses to a privately held firm that boasts over one billion dollars in annual sales. Download a free copy of Maui Mastermind’s bestselling book, “Build a Business, Not a Job!”, at http://mauimastermind.com/free-business-building-tools/free-book/.

Photo credit: Truthout.org

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