When you’re considering starting a business partnership, there needs to be a lot of thought and discussions that happen before taking the leap. Going into something without a clear path, direction, and expectations of both parties can lead to disaster. However, if you do these three things, you could end up creating a partnership that’s a great business and benefits both of you in the long run.
1) Talk about your personal goals and priorities.
Before starting to work together, one of the biggest things you need to talk about is a goal and visions – and the personal ones you have are really important to bring up. Finding out if this business will even fit into your lifestyle in the long run is something you both will want to know. Of course, we can’t know exactly what life will throw at us, but if one of you can’t even see it fitting into the next five years in your life, it’s probably better not to even start.
For Becky and I, we definitely talked about this and what this would look like for us. For us, first of all God and our families are the most important things in our lives. From the very beginning we established this, which is helpful for us because now everything we do with our business we want it to add to our lives and not distract and put stress where we don’t need it. We structure everything around our most important priorities.
2) Talk about your vision for the business.
Talk about what you both want in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years. Write down a vision statement. Working through these things together will not only show you both how you communicate, but it will make sure you’re on the same page as far as where you want the business to go.
It’s very, very important to us that we give our clients a great experience from start to finish. This includes so much more than just giving a couple great images from their wedding day, but all the communication, planning, delivery, and products we offer all have to fit into this for us, or we toss those ideas. We are continually trying to add to our process to make it better, but we have a great foundation to build on, and we have a clear vision of where we’re going.
3) Talk about finances.
Thirdly, talk about finances. A lot of people don’t want to talk about money with others, but if you’re going to be working together this is super important. Talk about how you’re going to structure payments, what your personal financial visions and goals are, how much money you need to bring in per month, what are your views on spending money on advertising, and a host of other financial topics. Along with this, it’s important to do regular financial check-ups as well. Make sure you both know what’s going on with finances, and that both people are happy with how it’s going.
Talking about visions and goals may seem like it’s getting ahead of yourselves before you actually start working together, but the truth is, what you’re really doing is establishing a good foundation for both of you to build on. For Becky and I it’s so helpful knowing these things because we refer back to this often during our discussions today. If we didn’t have goals and visions that were written down and talked about, we’d be in a mess! We’d both have our own ideas and instead of us working towards a common goal, we’d could easily both be trying to take the business in different directions.
If you’re considering starting a business with someone, if you do spend some time talking about these three things, you’ll have a much clearer picture if it would actually be a good partnership or if it wouldn’t. I would suggest talking about these before committing 100%, so that you won’t have the pressure of “we have to make it work” while you’re in these discussions. Hopefully, this will help you find out if you’re ready for the next step!