Businesses can come with a wide range of challenges and hardships, but we all know the incredible feeling of making your first sale or negotiating an incredible deal.
However, for all the difficulties associated with establishing these conditions, there is a critical way to help boost your productivity, capital acquisition, and even the take your company to the next level.
It’s called a business partnership—but not so fast! For all the benefits of this setup, there can also be some disadvantages, so it’s important to weight these out before making a final decision.
What Is a Business Partnership?
First, it’s important to understand precisely what a business partnership is. Essentially, this is a condition between you and another entrepreneur (or company) where you agree to merge your mutual interests to help bolster the success of each separate, individual entity.
In every day other situations, this is basically known a collaboration or teamwork. However, in business, it takes on a more nuanced and implicative role, since there’s an entire company (or companies) at stake.
Choosing the right business partner is of the utmost importance, especially if there are certain contractual agreements made that could put some of your company at stake.
Advantages: Combining Knowledge
One of the primary advantages of working together with a business partner is that two brains are better than one.
It seems obvious, but sometimes the confidence of an entrepreneur can get the best of them. No, you do not know everything and there is always something you can learn from another person or colleague.
From this, a business partnership can absolutely benefit your business as you’ll be able to combine expertise. Certain blind spots you originally had may be spotted by another with greater expertise in that area than you do.
Innovative new ideas or even a basic understanding of some kind of marketing or business strategy could be brought into the light thanks to a business partner.
Advantages: Increase Capital
This one is a big deal for many entrepreneurs because the struggle to raise capital from investors or simply through high profits is often very difficult.
However, a business partnership can create a condition in which the underlying variables are actually boosted in your favor.
Essentially, one or more business partners will allow you to combine funding in certain endeavors. Although this could create certain conflicts in how the funds should be spent, sometimes the mere existence of a little extra cash can go a long way.
Imagine needs money to start a large marketing campaign that could make or break your bottom line. A business partner could be willing to fulfill those funding needs and bring that campaign into fruition.
Advantages: Networking and Opportunities
Networking is almost as important to business success as any other variable.
Your ability to know the right people, at the right time can literally mean the difference between success and failure.
At its core, a business partner can be the foundation for an entirely new network of colleagues, experts, investors, and others who could offer an incredible new opportunity when you need it most.
Going further, there are countless stories from some of the most popular entrepreneurs out there who swear by the power and value of the human economy or the potential that exists in people to generate success.
Disadvantages: Financial Confusion
Let’s face it: when money is involved, things can get a bit…sticky.
This couldn’t be truer than in business. A company’s bottom line could be the difference between feeding an entrepreneur’s family…or not.
In consideration of this, it is helpful to consider that a business partnership essentially means a combining of the collective interests of two or more people. Once such a foundation is set, it’s only a matter of time before tensions can rise and territorial quarrels emerge.
For this reason, it could be helpful to establish your partnership within some kind of legal contract or framework that clearly establishes each other’s boundaries.
Disadvantages: Workplace Tensions
You may find yourself considering a business partnership strictly for the capital, or maybe the networking opportunities.
However, where money may meet your needs, a poor working relationship could cause more headaches than you can use.
For all the financial support you receive, if your entire ability to function within your business responsibilities becomes bogged down by a partner that you cannot stand being around, it could cause major issues.
It helps greatly to get to know your prospective partner and do some work together to determine if you’re both a good match for each other.
Disadvantages: Selling Your Business
You’ve partnered with someone else and your business skyrocketed to new heights. Profits are roaring in and you’ve made so much money you’re considering early retirement.
Now, all you have to do is sell the business—just one problem: you’re not the sole owner anymore.
This is a serious factor to consider before establishing a business partnership. You are now in a situation where your company’s success is tied to the financial interests of the partner—and naturally, they’re going to want to stake a claim in your earnings.
In consideration of this, it is once again a good idea to consider a legal contract before working together with someone else. This can establish the ground rules and offer you a legal fallback in case one of the parties becomes interested in a stake.
Although you cannot control every variable, you’ll at least have a precedent set that will allow for an even greater level of flexibility in the case of selling your business.
Business partnerships can be the difference between the life and death of your company. However, that could be literally true as there are many advantages and disadvantages involved.
Consider getting to know your prospective partner before officially working together over business matters. Even more importantly, look into creating clear, well-defined boundaries so that your interests do not conflict at a later point.