If you know me at all, or have read my bio, you know I've had many partners and investors during my entrepreneurial life. Experiences that were good and bad (well, mostly bad if you must know the truth), but experiences that I learned a lot from. I want to share my tips on how to really look at a partner to see if they are the right fit for you and your company. I have also called upon my experts to contribute their thoughts to help you be really clear about your decisions!
People bring on partners for many many varied reasons. It might be just because we are lonely, or we think that if someone else took on 50% of the responsibilities the business would flourish, or even that we hope someone we think is smarter than we are will save the business with their fabulous knowledge……. all valid and all for the wrong reasons.
I like to look at what this partner and you can do as a TEAM.
Depending on the structure of your deal, this could involve them buying (giving you money) into your company, or simply giving sweat equity for a percentage of your company……or both.
When deciding to bring on a partner, I like to ask myself these questions:
1. Am I doing it for the money?
2. What are they contributing that I cannot?
3. What business tactics, systems or connections are they bringing to the table that will benefit us?
4. Would I partner with them if I had all the money in the world?
5. What is their best attribute?
6. Do they have integrity?
7. What makes them as committed as I am to the business?
8. How did they react to the shareholder or partner agreement?
9. Do they have characteristics I don't like? If so, can I live with them?
10. Do they keep and honor their commitments?
Every time I have honestly answered these questions, the partnership has been a success and one that has flourished!
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I’d love to share this formula with you. It totally saved my rear when I was in year 3….. Just thinking of all that lost money in the first 2 years…. I want to cry!
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