Starting a new business partnership is both exciting and overwhelming. There are a lot of details–and hard work–that go into creating a successful business. And while working with one or more partners can ease the burden on you to some extent, you also need to make sure that you and your partners are compatible.
With that in mind, here are some tips for maximizing the success of your new business partnership right from the outset:
- Take Time to Learn About a Potential Partner
Most of us do not rush into marriage after a first date. It takes time, often months or years, to learn about another person to the point where we are comfortable sharing our lives with them. It is much the same in business. You do not need to be best friends with your potential business partners. In some cases, going into business with a close friend can be a detriment to success. But you should invest some time to learn about one another before entering into a contractual relationship.
- Make Sure Your Business Skills are Complementary
The goal of most business partnerships is to find someone whose personality and skills complement your own. If your strength is sales and dealing with clients, for example, maybe you need a partner who excels at the behind-the-scenes stuff.
- Create a Business Plan Together
Many businesses–not just partnerships–start without the benefit of a formal business plan. This is often a mistake. Particularly when you are dealing with one or more partners, a business plan is an essential tool for getting everyone on the same page before you open your doors. A well-designed business plan clearly identifies your mission statement, target market, competitors, and long-term goals. Although the partners may not always agree on the best way of accomplishing goals, it is still essential to ensure are parties are headed in the same direction.
- Have Clearly Defined Roles
A partnership does not mean every partner is involved in every decision. In most successful business partnerships, one partner still needs to take the lead. It is therefore critical to define any leadership roles upfront, lest you end up with “too many cooks in the kitchen.”
- Sign a Written Partnership Agreement
Every business partnership needs a written operating agreement. The agreement should detail each partner’s contribution to the business, their respective ownership interests, how to allocate any profit and losses, who will manage the business, procedures for admitting new partners or having a partner exit the business, and so forth. Once again, by getting all of this in writing upfront, you ensure you and your partners are committed to the long-term success of your business.
If you need help drafting a partnership agreement, the business law attorneys at Bennett, Weston, LaJone & Turner, P.C.. Call our Dallas office today at (214) 691-1776 or toll-free at (888) 991-1776 to schedule an initial consultation.