Bring In A Partner, Part II

One of the most difficult decisions a sole owner of a business can make is on whether to bring in a partner or not. Ask many sole owners if they want to and the answer is “no.” Some have had the experience of having a bad partner or a once successful partnership that went bad. Others just do not want the interference with their control of the business. But others are thinking about it whether for the isolation they feel at the top, or the need for capital or for the chance to bring in a younger person to whom they can sell or transfer the business later on. In this series we are looking at the things that support a strong, successful partnership: (You can find Part I of this series here)

A shared vision.  A business vision is a picture of what the enterprise will become. It is not carved in stone, but it must be regularly reviewed and updated as circumstances dictate. The partners should periodically sit down and talk in detail to make sure they both want the business to get to the same place. They must also be sure that their business visions harmonize with the visions each one has for their lives. Personal situations can change. Partnerships that survive have to adapt to those changes. They must be faced and discussed. One red flag is that the partners stop talking because they assume that the other is on board. Or eyes glaze over or get rolled when one partner brings up something the other wants to avoid. Remember that every vacuum in communications can be filled with negative assumptions, so keep talking and drill down into issues so that agreement can be found.

Come back next week for Part III in this series.