This article is a guest post by two experts, Cameron Dansie and Adam Hasebi who started Envision Progress together. Having business partners isn’t always easy. They’ve learned a few things and were willing to give us some tips.
When starting a business you have a plethora of decisions you have to make. One of the most important decisions is whether to take on a business partner or start solo. For now, let’s assume you decide to ride the roller coaster of business with a sidekick. Here are the top three traits to consider and build upon to find the right partner:
Trust is the foundation partnerships are built upon. Accomplish this and you are well on your way to a healthy and fruitful business relationship. Be aware: this is not easy! You need to get to know each other, tell stories, share experiences, and discuss past successes and failures. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Communicate clearly if you are experiencing frustration, ask for help if you are struggling, and be willing to be wrong.
Envision Progress Tip: Speed up your trust building; have a few beers at your favorite pub!
Flaunt Your Strengths
A big part of choosing a business partner is finding someone with strengths that compliment your own. For example, one of us has operations experience while the other has sales experience. We then hired a technology firm to act as our third partner so we didn’t have to compromise equity distribution. It is tempting to act as though you are an expert in all areas, but if you have built proper trust, you should feel comfortable revealing what you are or are not good at. It is important to understand there will be times where you have to leave your ego at the door and let your partner with the strengths takeover in his or her area of expertise.
Communication is going to be one of the biggest determining factors to your partnership’s success or failure. Ineffective communication is the number one reason why partnerships fail. This is due to different expectations, making false assumptions, unexpected changes, improper conflict resolution, and mixed views on exit strategies. Ideally, in a partnership, you should pro-actively communicate instead of using the commonly used reactive communication style. In Envision Progress, we constantly are texting, emailing, speaking on the phone, and meeting face-to-face several times per week to ensure that we are on top of anything that is thrown at us.
Talk about the tough topics even though it may be awkward or embarrassing. Have discussions and make plans in case your business fails. Make sure you are on the same page about ownership percentages before you commit to the partnership. When problems arise, as we all know they will, immediate communication is a must.
Envision Progress Tip: With your business partner, brainstorm and create a list of events that can possibly occur in the startup, growth, and mature stages. This will spur difficult conversations and help uncover unexpected matters.
Cameron Dansie and Adam Hasebi started Envision Progress while in South Africa for their MBA International Business Tour. Cameron and Adam have worked in the technology and financial industries, respectfully, for nearly a combined 20 years and they realized that today’s teams are geographically dispersed, unorganized, constantly duplicating efforts, and struggle with efficient learning. They set out on a mission to provide an online tool that improves team development and team collaboration. Through Cameron and Adam’s work with Envision Progress, teams now can easily contribute all types of content and share and assign it out through their unique, interactive calendar.
Cameron Dansie Co-Founder – Envision Progress
For more effective ways to manage your teams development visit www.EnvisionProgress.com
Related: How to Pick a Business Partner