Business Partners and Marriage
Are you looking to partner with someone to start your own business? Are you a business owner looking for a partner to increase revenue and enhance your business? Great, well I hope you have the flowers and invitations ready because you’re about to get married! Congrats. Exaggerating? Not really. We’re talking about a contractual agreement between two people for better or for worse who are dependent on each other for the success of an institution. Money issues cause a lot of friction in marriages. In business, money IS the issue. Like marriage, your partner might be the biggest blessing in your rise or the biggest cause to your fall. Needless to say, to have success and happiness, it is imperative that we take time to qualify who our partners will be. Here are some tips.
The Past Matters:
People can change, yes. Are the odds in your favor, no. Barring the obvious criminal background check it is imperative to look at your potential partner’s past business dealings. Has he or she had disputes with previous partners? Do past clients say good or bad things about their business practices? Did YOU personally have a previous encounter with the potential partner that didn’t sit well with you? These are all valid pieces of evidence to consider before you say “I do.” In other words, if the potential partner cheated on a previous partner, don’t be surprised if they do it to you.
Being accountable to someone, in essence, is a physical display of respect. Being punctual, pulling your weight, and keeping your word are important characteristics you should display and expect your potential partner to display as well. Doing these things correctly and consistently says two things...this business matters and YOU matter. When another person has enough power to bring success or failure to your business feeling like you can count on them will help you sleep at night. Even the small things count because remember, those who can’t be trusted with little, can’t be trusted with much. Respect in a relationship is everything.
Ok, maybe love is a little strong for business, but heck, you should at least like them. You will be spending a lot of time with this person, possibly more than your own family. Make sure your partner is someone with a positive aura who you genuinely enjoy working and learning from. This doesn’t mean there won’t be disagreements and tough times. However, when those arise, make sure you remember the reasons you were attracted to this person in the first place whether it was their talent, their drive, or their connections. Whatever the reasons, focus your partners energies on those things so that your business will reap the most rewards from their skills. Make sure you and your partner share the core qualities of integrity and trust but also make sure they add value that you can’t. Like a pastor I heard say once, “alike enough to get along, different enough to be necessary.”