OTE 022: 3 Things You Need To Know Before You Add A Partner To Your Business

business partners

Whether you jumped into business with a partnership already, or you started off as a solopreneur and decided to bring partners on as you grew, most entrepreneurs eventually hit a point where they are bringing other people into their venture. The big question is, how do you ensure the people you bring in are a great fit, not just for your business, but for you? In episode 22 of the Owning The Edge podcast, we’re going to explore the THREE THINGS I think are absolutely essential when it comes to working with new partners! 

How Partnerships Are Like Marriages 

Before we even get into the three things, it’s important that we understand something important about partnerships: this isn’t some flippant relationship you’re entering into. A partnership is more like a marriage. You’re going to not only be personally connected to this person, but you’ll legally be intertwined through contracts and financial accounts. In many cases, business partnerships actually outlast romantic marriages!

This is one reason it’s so important you make sure the partners you bring on are a truly good fit, for you, your business, and the future you want to build. The biggest conflicts I see within partnerships are between people who didn’t really have a clear understanding of who they were working with, or what they were agreeing to when they signed up. 

So know that FIRST, and then, go on to these next key elements…

The important Question You Should Be Asking Yourself

The first thing most people ask themselves is, “Do I like this person? Do they have what I need added to my business to take it to the next level?” 

This all seems fine, but it’s not the MOST important question. What you really need to ask yourself is this:

“Will I still trust and respect this person when we’re in a disagreement?”

The fact is, a good partnership is NOT a partnership without conflict. In fact, if you’re in a partnership with someone who just agrees with everything you say, you probably aren’t getting the benefit of different points of view that can truly grow your business. 

Strong partnerships should have differences of opinion because the two of you will see the world differently. The thing that matters is that these disagreements don’t lead to any loss of respect or trust between you. 

Two Methods To See The Strengths In Your Partnerships By

On top of that, there are two methods I use to actually SEE the strengths and weaknesses in my partnerships (and, in fact, in every single person we work with or hire): personality profiling and the Kolbe A assessment. 

Personality Profiling:

I’ve actually used personality profiling in all aspects of my business and life for years. Personality profiling is a great way to quickly understand the way someone views the world, as well as see what strengths and weaknesses they bring to the team. 

Like I said above, I think the greatest partnerships have differences in opinion on their view of the world. If you’re only hiring people who have a personality similar to yours, you’ll be missing out on other skills, mindsets, and processes 

Kolbe Assessment: 

Similar to personality profiling, Kolbe can show you people’s strengths and weaknesses, but primarily it does it by looking at the aptitude you have in the way you like to work. Kolbe can show you what you’re missing specifically in regard to the way you and your potential partners collect information, acquire new ideas for your business, how you organize them, and how you deal with risk. 

Doing both of these assessments is a great way to get a clear picture of not only what each partner brings to the table, but possible holes in your relationship that you’ll have to be aware of moving forward. 

Do You And Your Partners Have The Same Vision?

Finally, the thing I see that hangs most partnerships up and leaves the most room for damaging complications is this: you and your partner should know each other’s vision for the future. 

There’s a common misconception that your partnership will only be strong if you have the exact same vision, but that’s not entirely true. While it can help, you can have a successful partnership with different visions, under one condition:

You understand where the other one is coming from, and where they want to go. 

A lot of the reason partnerships fall apart is because there is miscommunication on what each partner wants in the long run. If one person wants to eventually sell out and retire early, while the other dreams of building an empire, that can lead to conflict that’s hard to overcome. However, if you both knew that going in, you can create a plan to make both things possible.

Thanks For Listening! 

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Today’s TOP Take-Aways:

  • »How Partnerships Are Like Marriages [03:45]
  • »The important Question You Should Be Asking Yourself [06:04]
  • »Two Methods To See The Strengths In Your Partnerships By [08:45]
  • »Do You And Your Partners Have The Same Vision? [15:26]

Quote:

  • »When you’re looking at adding a partner, you’re entering into a relationship with someone who might have a very different picture of freedom, of financials, of what it takes to make a business work, and that can be a very difficult position if you don’t go into it being prepared to have those conversations. 

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