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  1. K

    K Entrepreneur

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    So guys, this topic came up on a podcast I was a guest on a few weeks back.

    How do you find a business partner?

    Can it be forced by recruitment or partnering with someone you don't know?

    OR

    Is it something that has to be a natural fit with someone you already know, work with or are in contact with?

    Is it important to have one at all?
    Do you work better with or without one?

    Discuss...
     
    Rusnal2 and setupdisc like this.

  2. setupdisc

    setupdisc Moderator Entrepreneur

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    It has to be a natural fit. You can't just trust anyone, and even if you have things in writing, it doesn't mean that their inclination to find a way around them if the timing is right to make it a winner-takes-all event isn't going to be there. While it doesn't always mean that it won't be there with someone you've known for a long time either, the chances of it being there are marginal when compared to someone who doesn't know you that may not have an interest to do right by you very long. My outlook on it is that you have to be aware of whom you trust and have a reason to trust them, even if you have ample protections on paper already. Even if they don't have any desire to screw you over, it doesn't mean that they have or share your passion for the business or will do the work required to be put in from either side. A lazy partner can be half as bad when you end up doing 80% of everything yet have a business partner who is getting 50% of what you make from it. It has to be a mutual and natural fit.
     
    Trixen likes this.
  3. Chris Onate

    Chris Onate Entrepreneur

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    Partnership from my experience should happen and never to be forced.

    You should not partner with someone who you cannot reason with or bend their position with correct reason. They will be a problem to deal with down the road when the stakes are even higher as they will always want to enforce their position upon you.

    I am currently facing a partnership possibility which I am doubtful will be successful As I write this, I am already pulling out as the potential partners' really not reasonable at all.

    So stay clear!
     
    setupdisc and Rusnal2 like this.
  4. Trixen

    Trixen Entrepreneur

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    I am partners with members of my family and I must say it's not easy. Sometimes, business matters get mixed up with personal matters. The benefit you get from it, though, is you know they can be trusted. I just hope there are less favors.
     
    setupdisc likes this.
  5. Chris Onate

    Chris Onate Entrepreneur

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    Loyalty is a most necessary ingredient for any partnership that will work.

    Partnership with family's always more expensive except everyone on board diligently play by the rules.

    However, their sympathy at the critical times makes the bite on the bottom line worth it!
     
    setupdisc likes this.
  6. Bonyi

    Bonyi Entrepreneur

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    In my opinion, you can find a business partner by putting up an advertisement on platforms like this, talking to friends and relations I think will help. You have to be specific on what kind of business partner you need.
     
    setupdisc and Rusnal2 like this.
  7. remnant

    remnant Entrepreneur

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    It is easy to get a business partner if you advertise widely on social media, newspapers and business sites like Olx. A background check of the prospective partner is prudent. An important aspect of partnerships is to draft your terms of engagement like articles of association.
     
    setupdisc and Rusnal2 like this.
  8. Vinaya.Ghimire

    Vinaya.Ghimire Entrepreneur

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    I will never do business with a person I just met or is a stranger. I always do business with a person who is known to me since a long time. I first find a person who has funds and is interested in making a investment. If he has the same business interest,I will talk to him, if he is interested on my project, I will ask him to invest.
     
    setupdisc and Rusnal2 like this.
  9. T J Tutor

    T J Tutor Entrepreneur

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    I've had two separate businesses with partners.

    One was a partner I brought up through the ranks of my business and had personally groomed him for the role. He had become my General Manager and then my junior partner in his fourth year with me. 1982 to 1989.

    The second was someone I knew through my business relationships. He had been my banker for eight or nine years. He was a master of business financing, cash flow analysis, accounting practices, and knew well how to research the financial backgrounds of prospective clients and investors. 1987 to 1996.

    In both cases I had good results, but the one the really shined was the one I groomed and had brought up through the ranks. I eventually sold my shares of the business to him.

    My other partner developed health issues that eventually brought about his early retirement. We jointly decided to sell the business and had ready qualified buyers in a matter of months. Our nine years together were really excellent.

    I thoroughly enjoyed both of these partnerships. However, they did have their challenges occasionally, but nothing more than differences in opinions. I tended to be more outgoing, always in pitch mode. Both of my partners were a bit reserved and tended not to be very outgoing. It was a good balance in both relationships. There was a lot of respect on both sides of these relationships.

    Partners can be found near and afar. I believe in courting them without their knowing it at first. I also believe that a history of reliability and loyalty are the first two elements to vet with any prospective partners.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
    setupdisc and Rusnal2 like this.
  10. Rusnal2

    Rusnal2 Entrepreneur

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    Business partners. My experience with partnerships taught me to move with people that already have proven critical skills in that particular niche or field. I know some people are good at being flexible. Make sure their proven skills apply. This will help in the event that things change. In business it always does. Plan to make planning adjustments on the fly or quarter. Markets, real data, statistics, revenue will impact the way your business partnership functions. I would avoid most partnerships with anyone you do not know. I would also have all the contracts and documents signed and other legal llc and corp directives completed at the proper stages. In reverse it is also sometimes in the beginning to work on your project and ideas alone.
     
    setupdisc likes this.
  11. Corazon

    Corazon Entrepreneur

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    This is a sad story. When we established that retail business of computer supplies, the person who urged us was Macoy, he is the high school chum of my husband. And he helped us start the business so he was the industrial partner of sorts - he had no capital investment in the business. On the first year, the business was already flourishing with 4 sales persons. The general manager was my husband and I was sort of the chairman although I help in the operation when I had time to spare.

    The story is this - unknown to us, Macoy had opened his own business that is the same as ours. And being trustful, we didn't notice that he was snatching our big clients. It was really a a sad story because we lost the business and my husband had lost a friend.
     
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  12. setupdisc

    setupdisc Moderator Entrepreneur

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    I'm sorry to hear that that happened to you, Corazon. I've had to deal with similar situations before (not necesarily to where they tried to clone the entire business, but parts of it, capitalizing on it, or trying to steal important parts away to give them to others if they thought that I wouldn't notice and they could make more money on it by trying to cut me out of it).

    Usually people like that end up shooting themselves in the foot, because they needed me more than they realized when they got in over their head with more complex projects and situations.

    Those easy and effortless fixes for me ended up being difficult or very costly for them to get someone else to help on short-notice, which for some things was not even possible. This ended up making them lose face unintentionally to their customers they stole when they could no longer deliver or meet the customer needs reasonably. (karma!)

    I hope that the person who did that to you and your husband ends up in a situation where he realizes he still needed one or both of you to help him and to make either one of those businesses work. With any luck, he will hit a hard spot and will be forced to do something else and close down since he doesn't deserve to have that business, nor you and your husband's friendship after treating you that way.
     
    Corazon likes this.
  13. rz3300

    rz3300 Entrepreneur

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    Well I am sure that there is no secret formula, and certainly this is a question that entrepreneurs have been dealing with for a long time now, but one thing that I can add here is that going into business with a good friend might not be the best idea, and I can attest to that personally. There are so many other factors that really get in the way of business, and often times that is all that should be the focus.
     
  14. Corazon

    Corazon Entrepreneur

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    My husband was devastated when he discovered the treachery of his high school best friend, not much for the business but more for their lost friendship. To appease him, I urged him to continue the business by putting up more capital, not really to succeed but to console him although I know we were on the losing side already.

    From what we heard. Macoy's business did not prosper at all because his niece who was his captain of the business ran off with the money. Maybe that was karma in the works.
     
    setupdisc and Rusnal2 like this.
  15. saraedward

    saraedward Entrepreneur

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  16. VirtualGlobalPhone

    VirtualGlobalPhone Moderator Entrepreneur

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    @ K, As per me one who look forward for a business partner is more of an employer.

    I guess its the business which creates partners not the owner. The owner need to encourage interested and attracted people; when time comes he / she should let it go of the stake and become partners.
     
  17. Suresh Perumal

    Suresh Perumal Entrepreneur

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    It is advisable to go with the one whom you already know.
     
  18. Red

    Red Entrepreneur

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    As already has been said, a business partner needs to be someone interested in the niche of the business with knowledge they can bring to the table.

    With my fish market, I've tried both. Recruitment and someone I knew that was already interested in and trying the field. With those I knew, I convinced them we can go farther together putting our efforts together than by starting as competitors.

    In each case, 5 in total, I got screwed. Three were people I knew. We both had plenty of knowledge we taught each other, and plenty invested on our own that we combined. Two of which had valuable business and potential and existing customer contacts. All three of them decided they wanted to make attempts at making money illegally (fudging books, catching and selling game fish, etc). Needless to say, all three of those attempts ended with me running solo again.

    The two I got through recruitment were extremely knowledgable people that spoke a good game. But one was literally stealing from the business, selling to customers privately, and destroyed my equipment. He was literally trying to sabotage me out of my own business as he built his up on the side through my contacts. The other guy wanted to do next to no work, wanted to see higher results faster than was feasible or realistic, and wanted everything "off the books", which essentially means no records or improper record keeping. So again I'm running solo.

    From my experiences, I find I work much better without one. It's far easier to hire and run crews than it is to deal with a partner, whether you know the person or recruit them.

    Though, through my experience I developed a semi-franchise program. In my area everyone wants to " be their own boss". In my industry, especially considering my market is still young and the business model I'm using, it's impossible to guarantee an hourly rate without creating unnecessary debt until one of two things happen.
    1. Forced out of business
    2. Business skyrockets to cover costs, including payroll

    So, to fill the void of both my areas mentality and the requirements of the industry, I created a program where people are independent contractors in one of two positions and their earnings are strictly based on commissions. They're responsible for their own business expenses (licensing, reporting, taxes, etc). I won't go into detail with all the boring facts of how I set it up. But so far, this method and running crews is working far better than trying to bring a partner in.

    The only ones that respond to the independant positions are people serious about the work, understand what their responsibilities are, and seem to like the idea of being able to at least feel like their own boss without being responsible for the entire operation.

    Anyone who opts for a business partner, I recommend a trial period first. Give them the responsibility as an employee but treat them as partner. This way if it doesn't work out, you don't have as much of a headache or setback or the risk of essentially losing your business to a power-hungry individual.
     

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