10 Questions to ask b4 Biz Partnering
from Entrepreneur magazine 7/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Like a marriage, a Business Partnership often begins with enthusiasm & high expectations — only to end in bitterness & legal proceedings. It’s important to know as much as possible about a potential partner, including how his or her finances & family life may affect the business, before signing on the dotted line. Here are some questions to ask before deciding on Partnering is the way to go & that this Partner is the right one:
1. What do I “need” from a Business Partner? You should look for a Business Partner who brings something different to the table than you do. If you’re creative, maybe you need a more detail-oriented partner. If you have money to invest in the business, you may want to look for a partner with access to a market, or with great connections. Or if you’re shy, you might need a good “people person” to balance the equation. If they’re similar to you, it might be more comfortable, but it may not be what you need. You need someone who to provide the skills & personality where you are weak.
2. What is your potential partner’s Financial situation? It is important to have an understanding of someone’s financial status & commitments before getting into a venture together. It is tough to ask what they are currently spending on a house or in payments to an ex-spouse, but someone’s prior financial commitments shape the decisions they will make in the short term future. If he has large outstanding obligations, but says he can get by on a low salary, it’s a red flag.
3. What are the potential partner’s “expectations” on the time involved?Partners don’t have to spend the same amount of time, but it is important that they are on the same page as to each other’s expected time commitments. How many hours a day does your partner expect to put into the venture, and do his expectations meet yours? It is equally important to level set your partner’s expectations on your time commitments. The adage that it’s better to “Under-promise & over-deliver” applies here. [Put this in the Contract, so you know you fully understand each other. Wiz4biz]
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