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.