Partnerships and Partners

Some people like to control everything themselves and can’t manage with partners. But some people like the support and spirit and added strength that comes from working with a partner or partners. When you start up a business with a partner you can divide up the tasks and use each other’s strengths. Like an account guy and a creative and a media person starting an ad agency.

It is however, absolutely critical to establish a framework for continuing this working relationship. This means establishing who is responsible for what, having regular meetings. The system you figure out should be reevaluated often, at least once a year, and the openness and honesty that is so important at the start must at all costs be kept up for the sake of the company.

One of the important foundations for the success of a partnership is for all partners to be in agreement on their goals. Are you aiming to be the best in the category? If so by what measures? Creative awards? Billings? Profits? Most employees? International offices? Where are you heading and how will you know when you’ve got there? What’s the time frame? And do you all have the same goals in mind?

These are all questions that should be revisited at those regular meetings. However well you think you know your partners you must not make assumptions about what they are trying to get from the business. Just as your own feelings about it change over time, so do theirs – so keep talking and keep that start-up energy and communication going.