Watch Partners - They can take your Business

Before you decide to jump into a partnership with others, think about a few things:

  • Investigate whether other partnerships you know of have been successful.

  • Do your homework. Find out about your own strengths and weaknesses. Check whether your personal  skills and resources are adequate or whether you'll need outside expertise. In other words, do your homework.

  • Be careful of associates and relatives. Your partners should be selected based on the criteria such as; their reputation, financial stability and expertise. Be careful about bringing in friends and family.

Here are some things to look for. Identify whether the potential partner you have in mind will suit your business.

  • Do they have the same interests in the type of business you are in?

  • Do they have the same culture, values and ethics as you?

  • Have they been in partnership before? How did that work out?

  • Are they happy with a written partnership agreement, rather than keeping things verbal?

  • Are they comfortable with offering information about their client base and network, so you can see if what they are offering fits?

  • Do they have any alliances or relationships they can bring into the business to benefit the partnership?

  • Will they be committed to the business?

  • Do they have a good name?

  • Is their reputation good in the market?

  • Are they enthusiastic about working?

  • Are they happy to set strategies in place to handle disputes?

  • Will they be happy to put in an exit strategy in case things don’t work out and there is a parting of the ways?
Do not take anyone into partnership or give out a directorship to anyone unless you are confident they are going to be totally loyal to you as the founder and majority owner of the business. If you do (and you haven’t checked them out) they may end up causing you a lot of trouble. Some will scheme to take your business away from you.
Most people are fine but there will always be others who will “try it on” especially if your business becomes very profitable. Be careful that your partners or directors do not end up “ripping you off”. 

This doesn't mean that you mustn't go into partnership with anyone or that you mustn’t have directors in your own company. Far from it. No one has all the skills or all the ideas. We all need contributions into the business from others with their experience and their talents.

But it does mean this – Be extra careful. Do not promote quickly. Weigh all things up first. Promote to character. Character never lies. As they often say - You have been warned!

© 2005 StartRunGrow

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