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Considering a Business Partner?

Let’s cut to the proverbial chase: the most important consideration in considering a business partner is making sure you’re equally matched on your values, vision, roles, and purpose.  If you can answer “yes” to all then you’re ready.  If not 100% certain, the following steps may help.


  • ·   Create shared vision and values.  Create a list of shared vision based on shared values.  This will show where each stands and if compatible will allow you to work together in a mutually agreed direction that minimizes conflict.  However, when the small things creep in–and they will–you’ll have the list to fall back on as a good foundation to keep you grounded.




  • ·   Position strengths and skills.  Same thing, create a list for the same reasons.  Knowing your personality types will permit you to position yourselves to take advantage of your strengths.  Having an idea of what each of you is good at will maximize skill sets and avoid potential conflicts.  Consider taking a personality assessment to figure out each your individual strengths, and how you can best work together.




  • ·   Set roles and responsibilities…NOW.  Write job descriptions and set clear expectations about who will take on which tasks for the business.  This should be all on one document.  When done, print it, make a copy for each partner, and then each sign the documents.


Other points to consider.

Be mindful of boundaries.  Focus on your own responsibilities, and let your partner do likewise without interference.  Collaborate, but don’t be a nuisance.

Refrain from being the boss.  Let each other have some room and flexibility to work independently.

Keep the communication door open.  Open and honest communication will keep minor issues from developing into major problems.  Problems must be communicated, recognized, and worked through in a mutually acceptable way.

Handle conflict with care.  Put a time limit on disagreements and arguments, speak about them, deal with them, and move on.

Show appreciation and gratitude.  Don’t take your partner or their contributions for granted.  Make a point to thank each other for a job well done, and be kind.  Keep constructive criticism at a minimum.

Like any workplace partnership, create together and support each other . . . and you’ll do fine.



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