This is a guest post courtesy of Tim.
At some point in the life span of your business, you will probably partner with someone else.
Whether it’s a temporary collaboration on a single project, or a more long-term collaboration it’s important for you to play well with others, so to speak.
That seems to be easier said than done sometimes.
Ego can get in the way, boundaries can get blurred, and what started out as an enthusiastic partnership can quickly deteriorate into something you wish you never locked yourself into in the first place.
Tread carefully! And feel free to drop any thoughts or feedback in the comment section below. Over to Tim!
This post is aimed for small business owners; particularly those that started out as a partnership between you and someone else.
If you work for a bigger organization then the same advice is likely to apply to the person you work closest with.
No matter what business you are running, having a good relationship with your partner is extremely important. If your relationship breaks down and resentment starts to rear its ugly head your business is almost guaranteed to suffer.
I run a website called Treatmentsaver.com which started off with just 2 people, myself and my business partner. Whilst the team has since grown, I honestly believe that the strength of our business is intrinsically linked with the strength of our relationship.
We have now been in business for over 5 years and like any relationship we have had our ups and downs. I would like to share with you what I believe are the 5 best ways to ensure your relationship remains strong.
Don’t Forget You’re a Team
Whilst being competitive can have a positive impact on the success of your business it can also lead to people cutting corners to get results.
Being overly competitive with your partner can also lead to a ‘me vs. you’ environment which has the potential to become counterproductive.
You need to realize that you could not run the business without your partner and whilst you may be better at one thing they are likely to have you covered in other areas.
Achieving things as a team can often result in a more satisfying feeling than doing it yourself.
Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses
This is a fundamental reason for going into business with someone else, as you need to be able to complement each other.
If your partner is a creative, artistic type of person then don’t hassle them for figures and calculations.
If this is your strength then let them come up with the creative aspects and you take care of the figures.
This is extremely important as it allows your partner to clearly see where you offer value to the business.
It is also important for you as it will give you a sense of confidence and self-worth. You will be able to see you are also contributing to the success of the company.
If one person feels that the other is not contributing as much, this can quickly lead to resentment, especially when the company is owned as a 50-50 split.
Just because you do something one way it doesn’t necessarily mean this is the best approach for your partner. For example some people may respond favorably to criticism, whereas others may find it causes them to withdraw.
You need to realize that the way you speak to your partner can have an impact on both your relationship and also their productivity within the business.
Think of your partnership similar to a marriage; compromises have to be made on both sides to ensure things remain harmonious.
Respect Their Lives Outside of Work
This can be particularly difficult if one partner has a wife and children and the other is single with no outside responsibilities.
It is important to understand that working until midnight is going to be more stressful for the person with a family life as they have other people to consider.
This is not to say that they shouldn’t have to stay and work late but the other business partner needs to realize things are not quite as simple for them.
The reality is that for your business to work both you and your partner at the very least have to be working towards the same goal.
You do not necessarily have to be the best of friends or socialize outside of work, but you do need to respect each other and value each other.
All businesses are run by people and a solid team will ensure the business delivers on every level.
Over to You
Is your business the result of a partnership? Do you work well together or do you find it difficult to be the yin to their yang? Do tell in the comments below.