Businesses always start with a great idea, tons of excitement, and super high expectations- as they should! This excitement also applies to your partnership with your new business partner. Once you actually set up shop and you start dealing with stuff, you find out it’s not all fun & games. You often hear that a business partnership is like a marriage, well, it’s true. It’s a whole lot of work and it takes serious commitment! These last couple of years, I’ve learned a whole lot about the ups & downs of business partnerships- some personal, some not. A business partnership can either make or break the business as a whole and it’s extremely important to find someone that compliments you!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to scare you from partnering up with your friend to sign that LLC, but I’m here to help set expectations and perhaps give you some points to think about before signing the papers. I have had great partnerships, but I have also experiences some not-so-great ones through mistakes that I made as well as those involved. Although I’m focusing on business partnerships in today’s post, this also applies to just working with other people in general. I’m not going to go into the basic qualities of an ideal business partner, but the real stuff that people don’t usually talk about!
1. Besties doesn’t always mean best business partner
I totally get it, you spend all day everyday with your best friend and you both enjoy doing something together, so you want to start a business together, right? Well, business is business, ladies. There are going to be times where you have to be tough on one another and properly communicate without hurting each other’s feelings. When you have been best friends for so long, your friendship and your partnership can become tricky. It becomes tough to just communicate at times. I have my best friends that I know I could never be business partners with and heck, they probably feel the same way! It’s nothing personal at all, it’s just business.
Of course you want to get along with your business partner and have them be “bestie” material if you’re spending so much time together, but I think the best match is to find someone with that perfect balance. The reason why I think Lorena and I’s business partnership works so well in Bloguettes is because we met and became friends almost two years before starting Bloguettes with the common interest of entrepreneurship. Again, we were never BFFs. Lorena and I met at a dinner one night and constantly stayed in touch and would meet over coffee or lunch to discuss business, personal life, etc. We both felt motivated & inspired by one another’s company and knew we would one day become great business partners. If you do decide to go into business with your bestie, that’s great, but make sure to set all expectations out and you know that you both can handle, communicate, and overcome issues.
2. Find someone that compliments your weakness
Your business becomes your baby and we tend to become a little bit of a control freak- don’t worry, it’s normal. When two (or more) control freaks starts taking over the same thing, it starts getting a little messy & tricky from experience and it also is not productive for neither parties or the business as a whole. Rather than finding a business partner that is good at exactly what you’re good at, it’s typically best to find someone that is strong in areas that you’re not so good at and this way, you trust one another’s business decisions. For example, Lorena has always been the strategist, she loves numbers, and business development where I on the other hand would be more of a help with branding, visuals, graphic design, and photography- I know what looks good. We come together for everything we do at Bloguettes and put our heads together from our two different backgrounds to make the best decision possible.
There’s only 24 hours in a day and as business owners, you don’t have time to do it all & sign everything off. It’s important to listen and trust your business partner’s opinion on things, which is why it helps a ton when your partnership compliment each other’s weaknesses!
Empathy is I think an extremely important personality trait to have in a business partnership. There are times where things don’t go the way you plan, and it’s important to be able to put yourself in other people’s shoes, especially your business partner. This doesn’t mean let your business partner slip through the crack with a project every week, just be understanding and have a little patience with one another. When one is empathetic and the other isn’t, it creates a lot of resentment, so it’s important for both parties to be empathetic.
4. Are you both work-a-holics?
This is a huge part of business partnerships. Remember those days in school when we were assigned to group projects? There was always the type-A person and the slacker in every group. The type-A person would do all the work, but there’s always a bit of a resentment because they did all the work? Well, you shouldn’t be dealing with that when you have a business partner as they’re there to be your PARTNER and to help you every step of the way. It’s important to understand each other’s work habits bI’ve always been a work-a-holic and I loved that Lorena was one too! We always know that we can count on each other to get the workefore committing to one another. done, but also on the hindsight to pick up each other’s slack when needed to without complaining! Again, this is to set all expectations, so there is no frustration!
This sounds so basic, I know, but it’s so extremely important. You have to be able to be an open book with each other and be able to talk about literally everything & anything- the fun stuff, the tough stuff, the awkward stuff. There’s nothing more toxic to a partnership when you feel like you feel like you’re having to walk on egg shells when you have to discuss about something regarding your business. Another thing about communication is that owning your business is a lot of work, especially in the beginning, and you and your business partner will be communicating 24/7.
6. MUST be on the same page with EVERYTHING before you start your partnership
Setting expectations is EVERYTHING guys! You and your business partner must have a full understanding of everything from your yearly goals, end goal, day-to-day workload, roles & responsibilities, finances, etc. It’s no joke. A simple misunderstanding can really hurt the business, so talk about it all in details before you commit to one another. Once you’ve done that, the next step to being on the same page is getting an operating agreement of your company and being on the same page with everything in your agreement- SO extremely important.
7. Inspire & motivate one another
Owning your business is a constant rollercoaster and the great thing about having a business partner is that you’re there to life one another up. I can’t stress this enough, but become business partners with someone that inspires you & motivates you! Don’t be with someone that’s going to drag you down or is negative Nancy. You must be with someone that you look up to everyday!
Good and bad things happen all the time and though I would say I am a type-A person, it’s extremely important for you and your business partner to be able to be flexible. Things don’t always go the way you planned it to be, but you must be open to change or a different solution. This is important when you and your business partner comes to a disagreement, but again, don’t take it personally and be flexible.
9. It’s also okay to not have a business partner
Ending this to simply say that you don’t need to have a business partner. I know people that have been an entrepreneur for decades and through multiple business partnerships, they’ve said that if you can avoid having a business partner that you should. When something is your idea, your baby, and you have a vision, it’s okay to have people work for you rather than share the percentage of the company to make your dreams come true. Some people can work with people and some people cannot and there’s nothing wrong with that, but make sure that you know the ins & out of your potential new business partner.
Finding your business partner is really no joke and just don’t be dumb about it. Know every potential party that is going to be involved in the business and know their business partnership history, their work habits, and their personality! I’ve taken every ups and downs of business as a lesson in life and it’s only made me stronger, wiser, and happier- and I still have so much more to learn. I hope you all have had a wonderful week and I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have below in the comment or you can email me