Starting a business with a friend seems like a good plan. What could go wrong? If they've been a loyal friend and a positive influence on your life, why would not they do the same for your business?
Although there are many stories of business partnerships that have started as friendships, you may be surprised to learn that many of these partnerships end up failing in the long run. Some partners may not be able to handle the ups and downs of starting a business, and if business partners do not supplement the skills of one another, it will be difficult to get things done.
And all successful business partnerships are not based on friendship – some successful entrepreneurs are so successful at keeping their personal problems out of their workplace. But just as all friends should not become business partners, not all professional colleagues should be one either.
Whether you're looking to add a partner to your existing business or start a new business with a close friend, there are plenty of red flags to watch for. In fact, experts will tell you to enter into a business partnership with the same care that you would have to get married.
Here are some of the biggest signs that your business partner is going to be a hindrance to your business rather than the rewarding addition that you have signed for.
1. You do not trust them as much as you can throw them away.
I hope that you will not go into something as important as a business partnership with someone in whom you have no business. not trust. But you might be surprised at the number of entrepreneurs who make this mistake.
Regarding the future of your business, it is important that you trust your partner in all areas – or at least in those that really counts . Think about how much you trust them right now. Have they given you reasons to worry?
Trust is important between trading partners because without it, the reputation of your company could be damaged. Being occasionally late on projects is one thing, but you do not want to end up in a partnership with someone who is comfortable with unethical business practices.
This should be self-evident, but if your potential partner is likely to cause legal problems, run.
2. They have exactly the same skills as you.
It's human nature to surround people like-minded. If you are an artist, for example, you can easily create links with other artists.
Surrounding good people is one of the key keys to success, but that does not mean that the people you work with must be exactly like you. Think about it – if two partners bring exactly the same thing to the table, what will they accomplish?
You want to find a business partner that complements you, not a partner who is in fact a replica of you. They can be a great friend, and even a good person to consult if and when you are having a business problem, but that does not mean you should be partners.
The right partner will have a skill (or skill) that you just do not have. For example, you can be an amazing graphic designer, but that does not mean that you have the coding skills that are needed to build a killer website. Partnerships thrive when people have the same goals and different skills to reach them.
3. Their personal finances give you a break.
Not all business owners must be a finance guru or a millionaire. We all have different abilities to earn and save money, and that's fine – personal finance, that's good, because it's something that everyone can learn.
But if you know that your potential partner is in a desperate financial situation, it's probably not the right time to get in business with them. If they have not learned the basics of taking care of their own finances, how will they partially manage a business?
It may be controversial, but it's no wonder that 60% of employers carry out a credit check on their potential hires – people who do not take care of themselves financially are simply a greater responsibility. While the personal finances of individual employees may not make a difference to large companies, in a small business (especially a start-up), no financing is completely private between trading partners.
In addition, the stress of money is a horrible thing to endure, and it can affect every aspect of a person 's life. If your potential partner is in financial trouble, it is probably best for them to deal with this before adding even more financial stress to their life, such as starting a business.
4. They will not compromise their way of doing things.
Once again, a good partnership works exactly like a wedding – you have to be ready to give everything you take.
Thanks to the Internet, industries can now change overnight. What will happen if you are stuck with a partner who does not want to change with them?
Successful, long-term businesses are led by people who are ready to change as the business landscape changes. If your partner is too stuck in his traditional way of doing things, this could be a sign that your business is going to land much sooner than you think.
5. You do not share the same values.
This last warning sign is perhaps the most important: you realize that you do not share the same vision and the same long-term goals as your partner.
If you have conflicting ideas for the future of your business, it's an important red flag that will not work. You do not plan to change your vision in the future – why would your potential partner be different?
Starting a new business with a partner means it's time to have a lot of frank conversations. How do they want to approach your business strategy? Finance? Organizational planning?
Although you may not have the same ideas from the start, this is another area in which trade-offs come into play. You and your partner should share the same goals for your business. and be ready to meet you halfway. little details. Do not think that major conflicts in the beginning will simply resolve in time, because they probably will not.
If you do not recognize these five warning signs in your potential partner, good news: it's probably a partnership that deserves to be pursued. Be honest and honest about your goals, your values and even your weaknesses, and you'll be closer to running a successful business.