Why Business Partnerships Leverage Skillsets & Speed Up Your Growth
Entrepreneurs try to do everything on their own.
Their independent mindsets make them believe that entrepreneurship requires them to build a business by themselves — refusing the help of others no matter how hard things get.
This is terrible thinking.
There is nobody in this world who has the ability to do everything by themselves. No matter how much we fight with it, just because we are entrepreneurs, it doesn’t mean that we are super heroes. There are just some things that we can’t do.
The quicker we come to this realization, the better our entrepreneurial journey goes. But many entrepreneurs refuse to come to the realization of this fact, so they continue to operate a business that performs well below its potential.
Why struggle when there are options available that will move your business to the next level?
Entrepreneurship is all about spotting opportunities and positioning yourself to reap the harvest.
So when you are presented with an opportunity to grow your business, reducing your workload in the process, why would you not immediately jump at it?
Why Choose a Partner Over Going It Alone
Very few people understand the struggles and frustrations an entrepreneur goes through on a daily basis.
The challenging battle of building a successful business can be overwhelming, so it would help to have someone that you can actually confide in when the pressure becomes too great.
That’s certainly true here at Empire Flippers. Together, since way before their AdSense Flippers days, Justin and Joe have always known that while they are pretty savvy business dudes on their own, they are a powerhouse team when put together. Each brings a specific set of strengths to the table, which often complement the other’s…ummm…not strengths, we’ll call them.
They’ve said it multiple times before (probably multiple times this week!), but Empire Flippers wouldn’t be a successful Inc 500 company these days if they didn’t have each other.
But enough about them because there are plenty of episodes and other writing out there talking about how partnerships helped build Empire Flippers. Let’s get back to how partnerships can help you.
What Does a Partner Bring to the Table — In the Big Picture?
Having a partner means that there is someone else around to carry the heavy load of business ownership. You won’t feel as if you are battling the world by yourself. You actually have someone who is dedicated with helping you turn a big vision into a reality.
You must have other people working with you if you hope to achieve even half of what you set as your goals.
There are too many different business processes that have to align together to produce a successful business otherwise. These processes can include: marketing, sales, product development, customer support—all the various actions that have to be done to build a business.
With a partner, you can divide these processes among yourselves — getting more done when each person focuses on a different initiative. Now hours aren’t being spent with you holed up, focusing on one function of your business while the other functions are being neglected.
The dual efforts produce better efficiency and productivity. Instead of your business remaining stagnant or moving at a snail’s pace, it is being propelled forward with steady momentum.
While a partnership may seem like the ideal situation for your business, you really have to give the idea some deep thought before proceeding forward with the formation of a partnership. You want to weigh the pros and cons of bringing on a partner so that you understand what you are getting yourself into, and make sure you choose the right one.
A good business partner can catapult your business forward. A bad business partner can simply catapult (and destroy!) your business.
What Are the Benefits of a Partner?
There are far more advantages to having a partner than the “not being alone” factor.
Let’s look over a few of them so that you can get a better idea of them:
- Expand Customer Base. You’ll have your own customer base for your business, but depending on your business model, you may find your base growing stale. This is where finding a partner can greatly help you. Their unique network and customer base will bring your business more potential sales and fresh marketing opportunities than you would have on your own. In addition, your partner will have new sales techniques to try that perhaps you hadn’t considered or had the means to pull off before.
- Increase Revenue. Making money is the primary objective for all entrepreneurs. Don’t lie, you know it’s the truth. When you have a partner who provides a service that you can’t, you are able to provide multiple services within your business. Now you are able to open your business to new markets and create multiple revenue streams.
- Deepen Your Offer. Having multiple skillsets allows you to further penetrate your existing customer base. It is more profitable to sell to those who are already your customers. Now you are providing services or products backed by two minds, and generating more income, rather than only providing them with your stuff.
- Shared Resources. Financing is always one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs deal with. When two people are investing in the business, it alleviates the pressure of struggling to do it alone. Now investment within the business is greater which leads to better growth.
- Merging Skillsets. Instead of outsourcing a money making service that once couldn’t be done in house due to your lack of skills, you can bring on a partner who can provide this service. This allows for you to keep more money within the business.
These are just a few very good reasons why having a business partner could be a great option for you to pursue. You could be making more money and actually enjoy being an entrepreneur for once.
But with the good must come the bad, and you could possibly run into some problems when choosing to take on a business partner.
What Are the Drawbacks of a Partner?
While the advantages of a partner are certainly obvious, you want to be sure you aren’t making a hasty decision. You don’t want to place yourself in a situation that is difficult to get out of.
Let’s now look over a few disadvantages of having a partner.
- Shared Liability. If your partner does something wrong, regardless of if you weren’t involved, you might be on the hook for their actions. This can be a major setback when it comes to legal actions being taken against your business. You could now be personally liable for the act another person committed.
- Difference of Opinions. If you and your partner can’t agree on how the business should be operated, then your productivity will stall. Instead of engaging in work, all that happens is constant fighting and bickering. Before you know it, you both are leaving the business empty handed or in debt.
- Greater Risk. Unfortunately your partner could suffer from an unfortunate accident and pass away, or they could simply choose to leave the business. Whatever the circumstances for them no longer being involved, your chances of keeping the operations going are greatly reduced.
While there may seem like there are only a few disadvantages of having a partner, they are no less devastating if they were to occur. You could find yourself not having a business at all if you pick the wrong business partner.
How to Know If a Partnership Is for You
Before making the final decision of choosing a business partner, go over your entire business to see if you are working to the best of your abilities. You may not need a partner at all; you just need to work harder to produce better results.
But a partner may be needed if you are dealing with any of the following:
- Growth within your market is stagnant and you need a new market to penetrate.
- You constantly come across people who keep inquiring about a service that you can’t offer.
- You can never get up to date with your work no matter how hard you try.
- You have ideas about a new product or service but aren’t capable of handling the task all by yourself.
Ultimately you want a partner who makes your business better. Partnerships are all about people coming together to enhance the performance of one another.
It is much better to combine forces and be great as an united force, than to work alone and barely gain traction in the marketplace. Too many people are competing with people who aren’t even their direct competition.
You Are Thinking About Starting a Business
Maybe you are just starting out in business. You have the idea, the skills, and the hustle, but you don’t have the capital to invest in your business. You choose to seek out a partner that can both complement your skillsets and provide you the capital that is needed.
But when choosing your partner, don’t allow the allure of cash to blind you from the other qualities that they possess. Many business partnerships have failed because the quality that was needed came with a lot of different issues that were overlooked.
You both must outline the skills being brought into the business, level of investment from each partner, and the responsibilities to be handled by each partner from the very beginning of the established partnership. There needs to be no confusion so that the partnership goes as smoothly as possible.
Some Examples of Business Partnerships
For instance, you can have an SEO company, and your partner could be a great content creator. The combination of both services being done under one business is very attractive to a person who wants to position their website to produce high traffic and easily convert this traffic into customers. The dual efforts help you better corner the marketplace, something that couldn’t have been done while you were operating alone.
Or you may have an Ecommerce business owner who has great products, but they aren’t selling as well as you would like. You choose to partner with an affiliate marketing background to bring in other people to sell your products for you. Having this army of marketers brings tons of traffic to your site, resulting in a lot of sales being produced. You couldn’t have possibly achieved this on your own if you tried, and now you have a built-in customer base to consistently sell your new products.
How to Choose the Right Partner
So how do you choose?
You have to look at a business partnership as a marriage — you have to have join yourself with a person you believe you can be “in it with” for the long haul. It’s not impossible to get out of either, but it can definitely be a pain in the ass at worst and a hassle at best.
You must perform due diligence your potential partner before going all in with them.
The following are a few things you should consider when choosing a partner:
Do you and your potential partner share the same values about business? After all, you will be operating a business together, so it is important that you both want similar things.
Make a list of what values you hold and have your partner do the same. Go over the list to see where you both agree and where you disagree.
While partners will not agree on everything (just ask Justin and Joe), you want to be sure that you both share more of the same common ideas, rather than having a lot of differences.
The goal is to understand one another and avoid conflict as much as possible.
Great Work Ethic and Complementary Skills
Nothing is worse than having a partner, but still being the one who carries the entire load.
You need to do a background check on your potential partner if you haven’t worked with them extensively before (yes, even if you are friends). Find out who has worked with them and ask what that experience was like.
If it is a friend, don’t base your opinion solely on your relationship as friends. You are around them a lot, so you are aware of their behavior. You know if they are responsible and ambitious, or if they are careless and lazy. But that may just be the service level that they allow you to see. Don’t let your friendship blind your vision to the reality of who they really are.
Look at the state of your potential partner’s previous business or career. Determine the amount of pride they take and the level of value they provide. You don’t want to bring in someone who has a track record of flakiness or disrespect.
A partner whose strengths are your weaknesses is something that is very valuable. Instead of shying away from certain business endeavors because you lacked the skills, you can now actively pursue them.
Accountability for Their Actions
Two adults who are running a business together cannot be playing the blame game.
If one partner is slacking and it is pointed out by the other partner, the behavior should be corrected instead of giving an excuse.
Your goal is to operate as a strong cohesive team, which cannot be done if each partner is not operating at the best of their ability. You have to be each other’s toughest critic, accepting such criticism as the direct coaching needed to improve.
Great Communication Skills
Bad communication is the cause of death for any relationship — personal or business.
There is no reason for your partner to hide anything when it comes to your shared business.
Let your partner know that you like to be upfront about everything. It should be established that constant and clear communication is a policy that is strictly enforced between the both of you. If you are not in the same location, figure out how you will check in with each other regularly. If you are in the same location, make time for serious strategy and leadership talks; otherwise you’ll find yourself getting caught up in the day to day.
This is your business, your dream, your means of supporting yourself.
You don’t just want to let anybody have access to something you have worked so hard to build or plan on building. This is why doing a background check is so important. You don’t want to have a con artist doing devastating damage to your business.
The scary thing is, you might not even realize that the person is a con artist until you start digging into their past. That guy you met backpacking that seemed like your new best friend? he might be the best guy in the world for you to be in business with. Or he might…not be.
Is a Partner Right for You?
You can’t just jump into being a business partner with just anyone. You will have to scrutinize the person before making a final decision, and make sure they are doing the same to you. Don’t want to have them leave after two quarters because it wasn’t what they thought it would be.
Doing so will help you in the long run for choosing a partner who will actually work hard to help you build a great company.
Choosing a partner for your business is a decision that should be done with great consideration. Determine what qualities make up your preferred partner and only partner with someone who has these qualities.
The person you choose as your partner will hold the fate of your business within their hands, so choose wisely.
Photo Credit: Asaf R