People working to represent a business partner.

3 signs it’s time to bring on a business partner

3 min read
Nellie Akalp

With the new year approaching rapidly, you’re likely spending some energy thinking about how you want to launch your new business in 2016. But never fear — you don’t have to start a business alone.

Having a business partner is a good way to balance out your own skills and bring extra hands on board.

The following scenarios are ones that mean your business will benefit with a business partner.

1. You are well-versed in some areas of your business ... but not all

Let’s say you’re opening a dog grooming and pet supply store in the new year. You rock at dealing with customers and marketing, but are more wobbly when it comes to managing the finances and people. Bringing in a business partner who’s financially savvy could provide the balance in skills you need. The two of you can divide and conquer your tasks so that the business is rounded out in every aspect.

2. You’ve got more decisions to make than you can handle

Sure, it’s easy enough to delegate the easy tasks like managing your social media or answering phones, but it’s the big administrative decisions you struggle with. Having another brain on board can ensure that you make the right decision every time for your business. Or, if you and your partner excel in different areas, you can trust her to handle the decisions in the areas she’s an expert on while you handle your own parts of the business.

3. You need an investor

Sometimes seeking funding from a venture capitalist or other investor automatically gives you a business partner. And that’s not a bad thing. If you work with someone who has deep industry knowledge and connections, that partner could help you skyrocket your business to levels you couldn’t master on your own.

Tips for choosing the right partner

You might already have someone in mind to partner with in your new business. Before you broach the conversation, consider:

  • Do his or her skills complement my own?
  • Could we work together well every day?
  • Is he or she professional and entrepreneurially driven?
  • Do I think he or she would be an asset to my company?

Working with friends or family can sometimes create issues that you can’t see at the outset; take that into consideration when you think partnering together seems like a genius idea. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize your personal relationship.

Work out an agreement that outlines the responsibilities of each partner, as well as compensation and any exit clause information. It’s a good idea to have a lawyer review this document before you both sign it.

The key to a successful partnership is letting each partner have her space to make decisions in your business, as well as clear communication at all times. Your staff should never question who they report to, nor sense dissension in the ranks. Even if you disagree on something, don’t argue in front of your staff.

If your partner is investing in the company, discuss what percent of your company she will own, and how she will receive her payout if she does not want to continue as your business partner down the road.

Even if you haven’t considered bringing on a business partner, consider it. Your work will be cut in half, and you’ll have the benefit of someone else’s wisdom in running your business.