People spend a lot of time dating and getting to know each other before getting married, and you should treat your relationship with a potential business partner the same. You need to get to know each other, and you need to make sure that you want the same thing before signing any potential agreement.
Understanding your potential partner’s time commitments, finances, personality, short-term and long-term business goals is important, and you should consider every little thing before signing your name on the dotted line.
Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to ask about the money, but it’s necessary. You need to know how your potential business partner manages money. Some people have huge mortgages or child support payments that they don’t like to talk about, but since we’re talking about business, those things are important. At first, you might be extremely uncomfortable about asking your partner about the money, but treat that question as a necessary evil.
This means that you should also be completely open about your finances. In a business relationship, there should be no secrets.
Business partners don’t necessarily spend the same amount of time in the office, but that doesn’t mean that sharing responsibilities equally is impossible. In a domestic partnership someone always takes out the trash, takes care of the children, washes the dishes, and it should be the same in a strong business partnership. Each business partner should be expected to carry the same amount of weight in terms of responsibilities.
In order to ensure that, sit down with your potential partner and have a good talk about responsibilities and commitment. Discuss even seemingly unimportant things and get to know each other. That way you’ll be able to see whether your potential partner is able to pull his or her weight.
Some partners are there only for a short period of time, and that’s perfectly fine if we all get what we’re looking for. However, if you can, look for a partner that will be there for a long time. Not every person is able to commit, but don’t judge them because of that. Some people simply don’t know how to plan and form long-lasting business relationships.
Putting everything on paper after a lengthy discussion is something you ought to do immediately after your talk with a potential partner. If your potential partner seems reluctant to sign the deal, you might consider doing business with someone else.
Not every businessman is a people’s person, so to speak, and if that’s the case with you, try finding a partner with impeccable social skills and let him impress your potential clients.
Dedicate a part of your budget to business dinners and quality chauffeured transport services like Encore Corporate Cars, and sleep like a baby knowing that your partner will make sure that everything is in order.
Having everything on paper is great, but constant and open communication is the key to success. Being in a business relationship with someone who keeps secrets from you is something you should avoid. Every for-profit organization should be completely transparent, and that means that you should talk about your visions, goals, and even potential problems all the time.
Don’t be afraid to set the rules of communication too. Keeping your social life far away from your business life can actually make your business partnership stronger.
No matter how enthusiastic your potential business partner might seem, don’t forget to put the partnership in writing. Cover all angles by hiring a lawyer experienced in business formation and protect your interest in the business.