If you are the sole owner of a business, you've probably wondered what it would be like to have a business partner. Is bringing on a partner the right thing for you and your business? Consider these pros and cons.
The pros of having a business partner
- You'll have someone to share the experience with. Did you land a new piece of business? Did your company win an award? Did you break a sales record? Achievements like these are a lot more fun when there’s someone who understands the significance of what happened.
- Complementary skills can lead to growth. Adding a set of skills that the business lacks can be a huge boost. If you love the operations side but hate sales and marketing, for example, then adding a partner could be a wise move.
- You won’t be in an echo chamber. Talking to yourself about tactics and strategy can make you hesitant and can hinder growth. With a partner, however, you have someone who’s always available to discuss ideas.
- There’s someone else available to “mind the store.” Being the only person who’s on duty can be demanding and difficult to sustain.
- A partner can find new opportunities. A partner can identify growth opportunities that you never would've seen.
The cons of having a business partner
- The decision-making process changes. Right now, it’s very easy for you to make decisions and take action – the only person you have to convince is yourself. The decision-making process changes considerably when you add a partner.
- Compatibility can be challenging. From work ethic to business ethics, it's not easy to find two people who share the same point of view on fundamental issues. For example, if your partner’s goal is to make lots of money and your goal is to have a flexible schedule, then there's potential for conflict.
- Your partner’s problems become your problems. A partnership is like a marriage, and your partner’s ups and downs become yours, too. If your partner gets a divorce or suffers health problems, for example, it can have a significant impact on you and the business.
- There can be unintended consequences. Absent a partnership agreement that anticipates future events, you could face consequences you never imagined. If your business partner dies, for example, you could end up being in partnership with his or her spouse.