How do you choose whether or not you want to have your own business or build a company with someone else?
Well there are a few factors to consider, including what you want out of your business.
Let’s start there.
Do you want to build a company that can grow and expand? Do you want to have the opportunity to offer services that you alone can’t provide? How about expanding your network? How about expanding to larger brands to not only work with small businesses?
Of course, it’s not wrong or a bad idea to not want these things. They are simply the questions to ask when you’re deciding whether or not you want to stay solo or find a partner.
Do you want to just work with small businesses? Maybe you don’t want to worry about sharing responsibilities. Sticking to your skills and working as a freelancer is also perfectly fine!
It’s all based on what you want out of this adventure of entrepreneurship.
If you do choose to work with a partner though, what do you look for?
#1 Play off your strengths
Don’t work with someone who does EXACTLY what you do. For example: When I was choosing mine.
I found someone I had already worked with for years. I knew her skills and talent. I also knew what work she enjoyed doing, and shocker! It was the work I didn’t enjoy! But it was necessary to be successful. Plus, the work I enjoyed, she didn’t like or enjoy.
BOOM. Our partnership was born. The puzzle pieces just fell together perfectly.
We both enjoy different operational tasks AND we both offer different services. This gave us the opportunity to also expand our company services in general to assist even more clientele.
This comes more when you are putting together your partnership agreement.
Key point: Have a partnership agreement!
The last thing you want is to become resentful. Create an agreement that works for you and protects you both. Here’s another example:
Add a section that talks about what happens if you’re feeling burnt out, or like you don’t want this business anymore.
In this section you can add a plan of action, especially for these situations:
“Forced” breaks (not really forced, but just meant as before you can make a final decision, you need to take time off, even if it’s just for a day)
Take a vacation (similar to the break)
Communication - talk it through
These are just a few examples.
#3 Not every project will be 50/50
Know that just because you have a client, that doesn’t mean you’ll both be doing the work. Not every client will need every service you offer, and that’s ok!
As long as you’re finding clientele and you’re both getting paid, your work does not need to be 50/50. But you will always own 50% of the company.
#4 Decisions ARE 50/50
This is still a partnership. Your workload may not be 50/50, but every company decision is.
Now don’t confuse that as having someone to answer to. Your partner is not your boss. But this is what keeps your company healthy. It’s not about having a boss, it’s about having mutual respect for your partner.
Do you want to be forced to work on a project you don’t want to? Forced to work with a client you can’t stand? Forced to get paid less than what you should be? Of course not! That’s exactly why you work for yourself. This is why decisions are made together. No one is getting the short end and no one feels like an employee at their own company.
Lastly, if you’re choosing to have a business partner, make sure it’s someone you trust. Make sure it’s someone you would already recommend based on their work. Make sure you know you can work together and get along.
We may not always recommend you working with family or close friends…However, in our case, it did work out, so no judgment here! The main difference is that we have ultimate trust in each other, know each other’s work ethic and talent, and we already know we can get along in a work environment and not just as friends.
Like any relationship, there are keys to success, make sure you find yours.