Have you ever imagined how great it would be to run your business with someone? Or to kick off a new business endeavor with someone so you don’t have to go it alone? That might not be a bad option, but how to have a successful business collaboration is something you need to put a lot of up front thought into before you sign on the dotted line with a new business partner.
Two brains are better than one, right? Four hands will make the work move along more quickly and smoothly, right? Maybe. Maybe not. Choosing a business partner with whom to work is as important as choosing your life partner. If you’re in business with someone they can make or break the business and they can make or break your psyche.
How To Have A Successful Business Collaboration
Get it in writing. What should you get in writing? Everything. From who will do what tasks. To who will answer the phone, take the mail, dump the garbage cans and perform maintenance and upkeep on computer and technology, who can spend what money and when? The items you will want to get in writing may be obvious, but they may arise during the course of a phone call, or a day int he office together, on a business trip or at a networking event. Toss out any and all items you think will go into running the business together, write it down and decide who will do what.
How will you communicate? Text? Phone? Email? Instant chat or a messenger app? Video chat? How often will you communicate? About what will you communicate when you’re talking so you make the best use of your time. When wlll you talk and how often do you need to be available? Will you talk on the weekends or are the weekends off limits and kept for family time?
How will you measure success? You need to measure success in how well you’re collaborating and how well the business is doing financially.
Addressing disagreements. If there is something bothering you, can you talk with your business partner or do you walk on eggshells not wanting to “rock the boat”? If you’re walking on egg shells, get out now. Better yet, don’t go into business with this person. You need to have a way to bring issues to the table and work through them together — if you can’t the partnership will not work and neither will the business.
Start out slowly. Make all decisions together until you determine who works best in which situation and who wants to tackle certain issues. There are many successful partnerships, but they all started slowly and with the partnership strategy in writing.
It is still pretty much a fact of life that female entrepreneurs who are also moms do take on more family-centric roles, especially when they work from home. How female entrepreneurs can thrive in biz and life is something we talk with our coaching clients about. It is easy for any work from home entrepreneur to be drawn into non business growing activities like mowing the lawn, doing the laundry, running the children to activities, cooking dinner… you get the idea.
Juggling motherhood (and fatherhood) and a business while working from home can be challenging. We have some tips for helping entrepreneurs thrive in business and in life because what is the sense of “having it all” if you can’t enjoy it all?
How Female Entrepreneurs Can Thrive In Biz And Life
What are you committed to doing for your business? Focus on the commitments you’ve made and the commitments you have to fulfill. Don’t focus on motivating yourself to fulfill those commitments — motivation can be fleeting. You need to focus on your long term goals and how you will meet them. If you’re not motivated, you may not thrive as an entrepreneur. Your commitment will drive your motivation.
Are you keeping up on your personal and professional development? It is easy to work from home and lose touch with the outside world and even current trends in your niche. You need to focus on your personal and your professional development and your business results will follow. Schedule time for personal and professional development.
“I just can’t do it/have it all.” If you think that you will live that. Don’t hold onto limiting beliefs. If you want to have it all and you plan to have it all and you ask for help, you just might be able to have it all.
Be creative. You may need to have more flexibility with time and resources when you’re working from home. Be creative and learn to go with the flow. Your home office may not be perfect or have a room with a view, but believe you will get there eventually and be creative with your current space.
Don’t give into distractions. If there is someone there with the kids, close your office door. Let the children know that you’re working and cannot be disturbed. If the kids are at school, but the floor needs to be mopped or the lawn mowed, close the door or pull the blinds. Don’t be distracted by chores during your working hours. If you simply can’t let it go, give into your distractions on your lunch hour.
Have fun. If you’re not having fun as an entrepreneur, why are you doing it? Sure, there are times when being a business owner simply is not a great time, but those bad times will pass. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and the fun may just flow back into your day.
Don’t forget to practice self care. You cannot run your business and care for your family and give no thought to yourself and your self care. If you get ill or burned out, who will run your business and your life? The time you take to go to the gym, walk the dogs, lift weights or run on the treadmill is time well spent!
What are your limiting beliefs? What is holding you back in your entrepreneurial endeavors?
We’ve all been there. We are looking forward to a seminar or a networking event and cannot wait to hear the information from the presenter… but then it all goes downhill. It is. BORING! Don’t let that be you or your presentation! How to give an engaging presentation: 5 tips is a must-read if we do say so ourselves.
When you’re in front of a crowd and have been asked to speak or give a presentaiton you want to be memorable for all the right reasons — that you and your speech are interesting. You don’t want people to be bored and be remembered for that, right?
How To Give An Engaging Presentation: 5 Tips
Start with a story. Chances are, if you’re speaking, people know your name and have read your bio. You don’t need to start out with, “My name is John Smith and I’m here to talk to you about XYZ.” They know. that’s why they are there! Start with a story. “I’ve been in your shoes… I never thought I’d dig myself out BUT I did and you can too!? Be relatable and offer a solution to their pain point. Sharing a story draws them in and makes them feel like they are confidants.
Talk about your project or solution. Offer insight into how this has worked for others. Social proof is crucial!
Ask questions. Don’t be a lecturer. Be an interactive presenter. Ask them for comments, questions, insights into their own lives and issues. Give them “tasks.”
Don’t make your slides be loaded with words. Use a key word or two and an intriguing image. Speak to the audience, don’t just give them a slide show they could read without your being present.
Get to know the crowd. If you think you’re speaking to an experienced level of audience but they are really beginners, you will be speaking above their head. Conversely don’t speak 101 level topics to experts. Know the crowd by asking questions to gauge what they want to know. Slant your topic toward the majority.
Offer take aways and handouts. Or offer them a link where they can get more information BUT they have to sign up to get your newsletter first!
Life imitates art. Chances are you have heard that phrase before. Life also imitates business and vice versa. How can you use life lessons in your business practice? There are myriad ways. Whether life and business have thrown you a curve ball or if you’re crossing the finish line in life and business ahead of the pack, use these lessons, wins and losses to help your business thrive.
The way in which you handle curve balls reflects on your resiliency and attitude. A positive attitude and a tendency toward resiliency will help you roll with it and get back on your feet. Finding a way to bounce back from a loss will also go a long way in growing your business and sticking it with it when the going gets tough.
Use Life Lessons In Your Business Practice
Here are life lessons to remember when things aren’t going the way you planned:
Take a chance. If you don’t put yourself out there, you may not be considered for a promotion or a project. If you don’t let family members know you’re interested in something, chances are they won’t ask. You need to be present and you need to speak your mind.
When you’re dealt a devastating blow in life or in business, the way in which you face it and take stock will help you grow and get back on course. No one is saying that you can’t take some “you time” to regroup or lick your wounds or grieve, but you don’t want to let that cloud shadow everything you do. Ask for help. Don’t go it alone. Be human and vulnerable.
Know when to give up. There are relationships that will never materialize. There are business projects that never move forward enough to your signing a contract. You need to know when to just throw in the towel. If you know you have done your best and done all you can, you can walk away knowing it didn’t materialize due to your lack of perseverance.
How do you handle wins? Are you humble? How do you face challenges? What do you do when you’ve suffered a loss?