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Archive for February, 2015

HOWDY PARTNER??

Think running a business is an idea made for two? Watch out.

Before making that leap, it might be a good idea to think about some of the following points.

WHY DO I WANT A PARTNER?

There are many reasons: 1) You don’t have much business and you think by piggy-backing on another person, you’ll be able to make money from their name or referrals. 2) You have more work than you can handle and you’re looking for someone to take your overage.(This usually consists of your “b” clients or any other work you don’t like doing.) 3) You’re lonely and you want another person around so you’ll have someone to talk to. 4)You believe two heads are better then one. Of the reasons given, the only healthy one for forming a partnership is #4. Let’s explore each reason.

1) You don’t have much business and you think by piggy-backing on another person, you’ll be able to make money from their name or referrals.

Why would someone want to give you a piece of their business when you are bringing little or nothing to the table? Why don’t you just ask them to write you a check and send it to you each month?

2) You have more work than you can handle and you’re looking for someone to take your overage.(This usually consists of your “b” clients or any other work you don’t like doing.)

There is nothing wrong with this. It simply means you don’t want a partner, you want an employee.

3) You’re lonely and you want another person around so you’ll have someone to talk to.

You want a friend? Get a dog. Its cheaper.

4)You believe two heads are better then one.

Now you’re on to something. If you have one area of expertise such as marketing but you’re detail follow through skills are weak, having someone who will complement your skills could work.

HOW MUCH DO I NEED CONTROL?

Most people start their own business for one reason: they want control. For the entrepreneur, control is the “drug of choice.” Entrepreneurs are people who want to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, the way they want to do it. The successful ones often have confidence bordering on arrogance. If you are such a person, you need to think about how having a partner will affect your need for control. You may not want to explain yourself to another person.

CAN I SHARE?

Most entrepreneurs are territorial. They have a difficult time sharing. If you’re going to truly partner (as opposed to sharing office space and overhead and calling yourselves “partners”), you will have to be willing to let the other person in on what you are doing. If the clients are really clients of the partnership, you’ll need to defer to the other person’s style and ideas sometimes.

WHAT KINDS OF PARTNERSHIPS REALLY WORK?

The short answer is every arrangement you can think of has worked for someone.

Generally speaking, I have found the following scenario works best: The partners are both bright. They have complementary skills that combine to give the client the total range of expertise they need. They have complementary personalities. One person is more the introverted, behind-the- scene type. The other is more outgoing with strong people skills. Because each possesses a part the other one lacks and has an area of expertise the other has not developed, the issue of control is less likely to come up.

There it is. Some things to think about before you make the leap. There is, however, one more piece to the puzzle. Successful partnerships consist of people who are constantly keeping the lines of communication open. They work hard to listen, they admit when they make mistakes, and they are dedicated to success over the long haul.

Partnerships are very much like marriages. There are some relationships that appear really weird to the outside world but seem to work well for the couple involved.

And that, after all, is all that really matters.

CTS Consulting, Inc

3126 Berkshire Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

cell 443-286-2488