I’m sure you’ve heard the success stories of people going into business together. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak decided to go into business together and created the $2 TRILLION company that we know as Apple.
Microsoft, McDonalds, Google, these are all extraordinary examples of business partnerships gone right.
But partnerships like this don’t happen to everyone. In some cases, people jump into partnerships hoping for a miracle. But just like in any other relationship, if you rush it, you aren’t going to last.
So in this article, I will outline the 3 reasons you DON’T want to rush into a business partnership.
1. You Don’t Know Them
Rushing into a partnership is like a Vegas marriage.
You don’t know each other well, there were probably drinks involved, and you’ll quickly end up separated.
Chances are the reason you’re rushing this is because you just met. Maybe it was at an event or some business seminar and you 2 really hit it off. Both of you think it’s a good idea to go into business together and start manufacturing Luxury Hammocks.
The biggest issue with this is that you don’t know them, and no one would buy luxury hammocks. Don’t make the mistake of going into business with someone you don’t know well.
Now I’m all for meeting new people and exchanging emails, but hopping into a business partnership like that is doomed for failure.
Before agreeing to go into business with someone, you have to know these 3 things about them:
- Their motives
- Their skills
- Their values
It’s important to know their motives in wanting to be your business partner. Why do they want to work with you?
Is it because they think you have good ideas? Or are they looking to take advantage of your hard work ethic so they don’t have to do anything? Asking “why” will let you know if their motives are for both of your benefits, not just their own.
Before becoming business partners, you should learn what skills they have. The Los Angeles Lakers wouldn’t draft someone without scouting them. So why would you go into business with someone who you haven’t learned more about?
Ask them what their values are. Your values attract the kind of people that you should partner with. If you’re a hard worker, you’ll attract other hard workers. If you value efficiency, you’ll draw in others with similar values.
These things are important things to know about someone before going into business with them. They act like requirements to be your partner. If you ask them those questions and you don’t like any of their answers, swipe left.
In other words, don’t rush in if you don’t know them. This will only lead to complications and disagreements.
2. You Might Have Different Goals
The second reason you don’t want to rush into a business partnership is because you might have different goals. Before going into business with someone, you HAVE to make sure your goals are similar.
This is extremely important. Both parties have to know the other’s goals in partnering up. If your paths aren’t headed to the same destination, there are going to be a lot of disagreements.
It’s like going on a roadtrip with a friend in one of those old driver’s test cars with the 2 steering wheels. Your friend wants to go to Miami, but you want to go to Portland. There’s no way that trip is going to be fun, safe, or quiet.
The same is true in a business partnership. If your final destinations aren’t the same, neither of you are going to get there. It would be a lose – lose.
So before you decide to start working together, have “the talk”. Ask them what their goals are to find out if they’re consistent with yours.
If they are, great. Keep getting to know them to see if becoming partners would work out. If not, don’t go into business with them. Sometimes the people that don’t make the cut perform better as a friend or someone you know casually.
3. You Don’t Need One
The third reason you don’t want to rush a business partnership is that you don’t need one. This may seem a bit surprising. What’s the point in me giving you these tips and questions to make sure a business partner is right for you?
These questions are only to ask the other person. What you have to ask yourself is: Do I really need a partner?
I believe that you’re a very capable person and don’t really need to deal with the weight of a partner. It’s like in school when your teacher assigns a group project and you think it’s a good idea to partner with your best bud.
It’s a good thought at first, but somewhere between their useless comments and procrastination you realize you could’ve done it by yourself. That’s what I want you to realize.
And plus, money can buy just about everything, and most of the skills that you lack, you can hire someone for.
“Why pay someone money to do something a partner could do for free?”
You do have a point. But think about what would happen if things go south in both situations.
Let’s say you hire someone to help you grow your online and media presence. But over time you start losing followers and your audience begins to shrink. So you fire the person that wasn’t doing their job and look for someone else.
Simple enough, it was a clean break.
But now let’s say you have a business partner who’s supposed to help grow your online presence. But he too starts to lose followers and influence. So you confront them, tell them that they suck, and you have a huge falling out. Now they want to leave.
But it’s not like you can just fire them. Since they’re your business partner, you have to split everything 2 ways. But how are you going to split the business in half? The mailing list? The trademark?
That example is a bit extreme, but you get what I’m trying to say. In some cases hiring someone is a better choice than partnering. And sometimes you don’t even need a second person because you can do it all yourself.
So that’s the 3 reasons you DON’T want to rush into a business partnership.
If you rush it, you’re not taking the time to see if they’re a good fit based on their values, motives, or skills.
And on top of that, you may not know what they’re driven by. Having similar goals is crucial to a successful business partnership, because you’re both working toward the same objective.
But it’s also important to realize that sometimes a business partner isn’t what you need. Whether it’s because hiring someone else would be simpler or you can do everything yourself.
Partnerships have the potential to be incredibly useful and enjoyable, but only if you put in the time to get to that point. I recommend that before you make any rash decisions, you read back over this and see if it really is the smart thing to do.
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