Like any long-term relationship, business partners must enter their agreement with ground rules, planning, and clear expectations. If they don’t, the unplanned unsaid things lead to resentment, anger, and frustration – not to mention the toll it takes on the business venture. Here are some things to think about before starting a business with a partner.
If you’re not sure how you might work with a potential business partner, talk with each other’s past and present colleagues, friends, and family members. The questions you should be able to answer by the end of your interviews include:
- Do my partner and I share personal and professional values, ideas and goals?
- Do I trust his/her motivations and character?
- What are the things in everyday life and business we agree on?
- What if a spouse or kid wants to join the business?
- How will we handle one partner acting unethically?
- What if one of us wants to move out of state or the country?
You may thing about going on a short weekend retreat to go over your expectations for the business and partnership. Consider each one by one, and compare notes.
Next time, we’ll talk about partnerships with relatives. Curious about starting a business, get a free consultation to get matched to the right one.