Find a Business Partner

June 11, 2012 — 10 Comments

partnersAs you’ve been thinking and planning a business, you may have heard that business partners are a bad idea. You fall out of love with each other or one of you falls out of love with the idea before it’s even launched. Worse, your partner checks out after the business is up and running, but not yet sustainable, leaving you to fend for yourself.

These scenarios are all too common and unfortunately, they bring many businesses to their knees, leaving a bad taste for self-employment with many people people or their spouses. It’s hard to come back from that.

I’ve partnered with other folks on many projects over the years and have had good success. I’ve worked on teams and know who will follow through, who won’t, and what to look for in a partner, and now I’m partnering. Here are a few tips for partnering on a business.

Have more than just business in common.

What do you talk about outside of business? Do you do anything outside of business? Your business partner doesn’t need to be your best friend, but you need to have a lot more in common than a project.

Wake your partner up at night.

Your business partner needs to be the kind of person you can call at 3 am when your car breaks down 50 miles from home. Will that person be mad? Will they even answer the phone?

Your partner needs to work hard.

There needs to be verifiable successes in your partner’s past. This shouldn’t be the first business they’re launched. Both of my partners have a long track record of past businesses and current ideas that have blown away most people’s expectations. They’re go-getters. One of them has become a retail powerhouse without ever opening a retail store.

Have fun.

This should go without saying, but if you’re not having fun, you don’t have a business. You have a job. You need to have fun while you’re at work and that goes for the projects you’re working on and the people you’re working with.

If you do the partnership thing right you’ll have fun, make a lot of money while helping many people, and build something that will last a long time. Don’t overlook working with partners simply because you heard of someone’s bad experience with one. Find the right people to work with and change the world.

What tips for partnering can you add?

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  • http://roborr.net Rob Orr

    Good stuff Justin. As Orracle Media grows, I’ve been thinking more and more about how I can grow and do it wisely and this is good food for thought. Having HIGH QUALITY relationships and connections is always essential.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    I see that from you, Rob. You could do amazing things for folks as you grow a team for Orracle Media.

  • Jack Lynady

    Partnerships are incredibly tricky and fragile. I like your insights here Justin. It is much more relational than most people realize. U can’t just look at it as “mutually beneficial”. I didn’t marry my wife because it would be “mutually beneficial” and a partnership is much more like a marriage than a business arrangement. Good post.
     

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Thanks, Jack. I got a chuckle out of the thought of a mutually beneficial marriage. Sign me up. :)

  • http://www.JeffDrummer.com/ Jeff Jones

    I would have NEVER had a partnership at all until this last venture that my wife and I have started.  We had to partner with a serious web developer because we simply couldn’t afford the cost of the kind of website and maintaince we were going to have.  It would have cost us over $25,000 to get what we needed not to mention what is to come in the future.  So, we did partner with someone, and like you mentioned, we have known them for about 15 years, out kids play together and we go out on double dates together and have a great time together, so that makes a huge difference. 

    I talk about the launch here: http://www.jeffdrummer.com/where-hard-work-meets-preparation

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Partnerships are tough, Jeff. Looks like you found a great one here. LOVE the site!

  • http://www.facebook.com/JamesGarner42 James Garner

    Good stuff Justin…I have learned lots over the years about Partnerships and you are spot on.  I am learning that my work style (thanks to FAA) is best when I have relationships involved (partners) and am able to physically and emotionally join them to bring out the best ideas/work and projects.  18 Months ago I thought i just wanted to work alone….I was wrong :)  

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Boy, I was completely wrong about that as well, James. More and more I need people in my life who compliment me. Synergy is a great thing.

  • http://www.parxbyjont.com/ Jonathan Tollefson

    I was always scared of partnerships, or thought they were a bad idea also.  As I look back at the successes I have had, they were mostly because of the people I have built relationships with over the last 2-6 years.  

    I have yet to sign any legal documents with another company or person, but it still feels like we are starting a team/partnership.  A look into the future, this could turn into a whole new company.  Either way being around like minded people with good working relationships is a plus.  Good write up Justin.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Thanks, Jonathan. It’s always great to partner with people smarter than yourself.