How to Avoid a Bad Business Partnership

Sometimes, when starting a business, you need a good partner by your side. They bring creativeness, financial backing, and knowledge about the project. Many people would agree that having the right person by your side is the extra push needed to succeed in your industry. However, partnering with someone can be a huge gamble, which can go either way, costing you a lot of money or making you an enormous amount. There are some businesses that simply require a partner, for example, you’ve noticed the two largest tech companies, Apple and Microsoft, both started in pairs and did very well becoming worldwide dominators. The key truly when finding the right partner is your ability to find the right person for the job. Having a sense of what’s important will help you make the right choice and be an asset to your business.

In my career, I’ve worked with 2 people long-term as business partners and “1” didn’t work out so well, but the lessons learned were priceless. Here are some ways to avoid a bad business partnership.

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#1- Share the Same Passion

A huge reason business partnerships don’t work is because you both don’t share the same passion for the work. If one of you is doing something to change the world and the other simply to make money, then your ideas are NOT aligned correctly. It’s important the person you choose to be on your team is willing to put 150% into the business without any promise of monetary return. Money that makes enormous money will come naturally, but both of you have to share the same passion for what you’re trying to accomplish.

Finding out if the person is right for you can be done simply by viewing their other work and what they are trying to accomplish. I am able to tell how passionate someone is about the project simply by the way they talk about it. Passionate people have a glow in their eyes when they talk about what they’re trying to achieve.

#2- Not Enough Time

Many times, business partnerships haven’t worked out because you don’t give it enough time to blossom. Just like a romantic relationship, you have to give a business relationship enough time to earn trust, and mutually understand and get to know each other. As a matter of fact, you can’t expect to form a solid relationship within a few weeks or even “1” year. The reason is simple, because you just haven’t given it enough time to really know what you two are capable of withstanding. You have to go through hardship to know if the partnership is for real. To avoid a bad business relationship, it’s important you give it enough time to build.

In one of my partnerships, it was time that healed some of the problems we were having with each other. Once you put 150% effort into building your business and you start to make money, it takes much of the pressure off creating a bond between partners.

#3- Be an Asset

Here’s something that many of you will agree with and it’s very important you implement this when finding a business partner. They have to be an asset to the business and need to bring something to the table. There is no point in having a business partner who does the EXACT same things as you because they are NOT brining anything different to the business. Sometimes, for a business to succeed, you need a skill that you cannot execute, which pushes the business over the threshold. If you’re starting a tech company then it’s important that one of you is technical and the other well versed in marketing. Personally, there is no point in having two people doing the EXACT same technical role as you probably needed a marketer to turn a profit in your business.

Avoid a bad business relationship by finding someone who can be an asset to your business and bring an important skill to the table. If you both do the same thing, you’ll be burning money without actually making progress in your business

#4- What About Being Friends?

This is definitely for debate because I believe that you shouldn’t be best friends with your business partner. There is also a limit to how good of friends you and your partner should be. My explanation is very simple,

You want to have your own circles of friends because spending time in and out of work can get very tiring. It will cloud your judgement and make it very hard for you to terminate someone who is NOT doing any good for the business. In one of my business relationships, I formed a best friend relationship with my partner and the work started to suffer. He stopped putting 100% effort into the business because he felt that our friendship wouldn’t allow me to take any drastic actions. When he started to steal from the profits, our friendship made it harder for me to let him go. It’s important to have a clear line between friends and business so you can deal with your business elements accordingly and without any guilt after.

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