January 17, 2011, 5:00 am

5 Reasons Why You Need A Partner In Your Business

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Alternative Income,Business,Make Money Online
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business partner

Since the age of 18, I knew I had the entrepreneur gene. I think this is a specific gene that can tell you if someone is born to be an employee or an employer. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about being an employee. In fact, employees carry much less stress and problems than entrepreneurs… I guess we should pull out stats on life expectancy on both categories ;-). The entrepreneur gene makes you a different individual. You constantly have the urge to build something; be your own boss. However, sometimes this dream turns into a nightmare; or worse, this dream is buried inside you by laziness, fear and lack of organization. This is why I decided to team up with a partner. In this post, I want to explain why. I call it the PICCA (if any MBA student wants to bring this article to his professor ;-))


Reason #1: Productivity


The purpose of building a sideline income is obviously to earn more money. The problem that comes with any small business is the time required to start it up. Most people abandon their dream due to a lack of time. Your job is demanding (and so is your wife ;-) hahaha!) and you want to spend quality time with your family and friends. Having a partner is a great opportunity where someone else is also working on the same project. Therefore, even if you have a rough week or you are on vacation, your business partner is there.


I went through a lot of personal events since I started my business in 2008; having a second child, switching jobs, finishing my MBA, etc. There were some moments I couldn’t do much for our online company as I was completely swamped. Well my partner was there to work harder on it. The good point is that I have had chances to return the favor last year as he was getting married ;-D.


Reason #2: Ideas


I’m a walking idea generator. Nonetheless, I need another person to boost and develop those ideas. We try to have brainstorming sessions every 3-4 months. We discuss web projects, topics, potential deals. When we put our 2 brains together for 2 hours, we can literally change the world.


Having an idea is one thing, having a good one is great but developing a good idea with definition requires more than one individual. This is how we turn ideas into real projects!


Reason #3: Challenge


If I was alone in my basement, I would decide everything… and make a lot of mistakes! Why is that? Simply because when you are alone; nobody is there to challenge you! So if you are about to make a mistake, no one will tell you about it. Being challenged and challenging my partner is one of my favorite sports. This is a game where you go 100% honest and you are not afraid to “smash” your partner. The only thing is that one must not take it personal ;-).


Reason #4: Complementarities


I wrote a pillar post about how to manage several blogs at the same time a few weeks ago. In this post I mentioned how important is to find people to make up for your flaws instead of looking to improve your skills in every single field. My partner is my best friend but he is also the perfect partner I could have as he is very strong in areas I barely know (and vice-versa). The complement aspect also brings a completely new perspective on any projects. It’s like looking at the medal from both sides at the same time!


Reason #5: Accountability


This is the last but the most important reason to get a partner; you will get things done. Sometimes, I don’t feel like working on my sites. I’d prefer to play Need For Speed or watch a movie. But I know that I have a partner and as I expect him to do his part of the job, he expects the same thing from me. Accountability is better than having a boss; you feel wrong if you don’t do what you have to do but it’s not the fear of being smacked by your boss; it’s triggered by the feeling that you are not being honest with your best friend. That changes the whole game!


Having a Business Partner; Is it that Perfect?


Hey, I’m sure you are reading this post and you think; “what if my partner doesn’t work? Or try to screw me?”. I guess there is a downside of having a partner too. Do you have any reasons why you would not partner-up?

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Comments

You have a business idea that you believe will rock the world. You have worked your entire life for other people and you are ready to start your own business. You have the experience in the business you want to create and feel comfortable in every aspect of the operations necessary to succeed. You have savings that can be used for startup costs and a business plan that demonstrates how revenues can be generated within the first six months so that you can bootstrap your operations. You feel confident that you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur—– all of a sudden, out of nowhere, you begin to think you need a partner….because? You think:

(1) A partner will give you the opportunity to talk to someone who has skin in the game about what decisions should be made in the business.

If you feel you need to talk to someone about the decisions you will need to make as a solo entrepreneur put together an advisory board – a group of business people who will act as a sounding board for you on a regular basis. Schedule regular meetings – at least quarterly – so that you will use them effectively and pay them so that they will actually have skin in the game. You can also seek out mentors as advisors or hire a business coach so that you will always have someone to talk to. Entrepreneurship is an isolating experience and it is intuitive to know ahead of time that you want to share your stress with someone else. But this is not a reason to get a partner.

(2) A partner can bring in extra startup cash so that you can feel financially comfortable in the early stages of the business and not have to rely on bootstrapping the business.

Believe it or not, if you look hard enough for it and aren’t afraid to ask for it, there is plenty of money out there for you to start off your business financially sound. However, bootstrapping your business is not a bad idea in any case. Depending on the business, a slow startup is not necessarily the wrong thing to do. For example, many businesses actually have more success when they are started from home where the entrepreneur has more control over the environment and can work closer to 24/7 which often is necessary at the beginning of a business. Spending cash just because you have it won’t guarantee more success. Money is not the reason to bring on a partner. Friends and family have money, Banks, VCs and angels have money. Investors have money. And, one of the best places to find money is from your clients and vendors. Your clients and vendors will benefit from the success of your business and they may very well be interested in investing in it at the getgo.

(3) A partner will bring me the expertise I don’t have such as marketing, sales, accounting and/or bring me a built-in customer base.

DING DING DING There you go…you haven’t even started the business and you already want a guaranteed customer base, and you are willing to give half of the business away to get it! You don’t need a partner to get customers! You need a business plan, a marketing plan, and a strategy! You can hire marketing, sales and accounting expertise. You do not need a partner to do what you can hire others to do.

Yes, starting your own business means taking a risk. With or without a partner, starting a new business is a risk. There are no guarantees in entrepreneurship- but, I promise you that going it alone does not tilt the scale against you. As a matter of fact, statistically partnerships have less of a chance of success. Why? For the simple reason that the effort put into the partnership relationship is effort that could have been put directly into the business.

So, fear not Entrepreneur – you can do it alone – just don’t forget to ask for help when you need it. Good luck!

I think the most important one here is the accountability. By ourselves, we waste so much time doing useless activities, but if there is someone holding us to our actions and taking care of things we’re not good at, there’s more time to do the things you can control.

Excellent post. Also, you want a partner to keep you busy and not lonely. It gets lonely sometimes doing everything yourself!

Sam

by: The Financial Blogger | January 18th, 2011 (4:45 am)

I guess you know what you are talking about, Sam ;-)

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It’s just so hard finding a partner. People that I trust (friends and family) already don’t understand what I’m doing, and I honestly don’t have the time or patience to teach them. People in my industry are fine working with their current employers, or already have something lined up.

by: The Financial Blogger | January 18th, 2011 (9:36 pm)

@20 and Engaged,

I totally understand where you are coming from. You can always try to find a “virtual parnter” for some projects. You will earn the most important benefits of working with someone else; accountability!

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Bottom line is that 2 pair of hands are usually better than one.

I think it’s a great idea to have a business partner! I suppose I have never really thought too much about it in regards to my blog, since this is something that can be started with little start-up costs. But, I would do well to have a business partner! Especially someone to make up for my shortcomings in the web development side of things.

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Many thanks for sharing this post. I am in the process of building a business myself and was ofey with the general idea of having a business partner, but this has hammered home more of the reasons why it is imperative to have one. Working extremely hard at being the best you can be in one particular area makes you more likely to attract partners who can add value in areas where you are weak. I suppose that’s would be one of the ways to limit the chances of finding a bad apple!

Well written – and pretty much right on the money, especially the Accountability part. I’ve found I’m much more responsible when I know I have a partner depending on me (and hopefully my partner is doing the same).

I wrote up a blog post that touches on a similar topic – how to choose a business partner:

http://sharedstatus.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-business-partner

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