Should You Have A Business Partner? - Steve Goodall

Should you involve a partner in your business? 

Partners can be really useful when it comes to decision making, but they can also clash with your own thoughts and ideals. 

I’ve personally had my own business partners in the past and this is a question that I actually get asked a lot. 

It’s a tricky question.

You have to ask yourself when deciding on a business partner, “What is this person going to  bring to the table that I don’t personally have?”

I’ve seen a lot of partnerships fail because they both had the same abilities and were both lacking in the same abilities. That’s very dangerous. 

So, before bringing on a partner you have to know your weaknesses and you have to decide if your business partner has those abilities. Do they have what you are lacking?

If they do and you are sure you want to start a partnership then there is something really important you must do.

Define the roles.

If your partner is a financial genius and you are a sales wiz then draw those lines within the company. 

You may have to go so far as writing in that one partner will be the CFO. 

This is because no two people can jointly run a business. 

Somebody at the end of the day is going to have to make a decision. 

And the problem with partnerships, that I have seen, is that both partners think they ultimately have the final say that they know better than the other partner.

That is where the problems start.

If a decision has to be made on a new product and both you and your partner are stuck disagreeing about how to follow through your business becomes stuck.

Your business cannot grow if both you and your partner get the final say and both cannot agree on anything.

That is why there has to be a decision-maker. 

Now what I would say is that if it is your business, you started it, and you bring in someone new you are still the CEO.

You can have yours and your partners divided areas of the company, but you will make the final decision.

If you are a partner that’s being pulled in by somebody else, please understand that the person who’s pulling you in has the final say at the end of the day. 

Often in business, because people are desperate to launch, they go in as 50/50 partners and they both put the same amount of money.

That gives you both the ability to basically overrule one another.

And that’s where partnerships fall apart.

Here is another article I wrote on how to hold yourself accountable. 

Comment down below your experience with partners. Do you have any advice for those looking to join a partnership in their business? 

Steve Goodall is a full-time digital nomad and an Iron Maiden fan who has spent the last 30 years working with business owners in driving company growth, restructuring internal operations and providing full consultancy on all platforms including branding, outreach, and marketing. Talking business is his THING… so connect with him on LinkedIn.