Should I go into partnership with someone else, or go it alone?

There are pros and cons to both options.

When working for yourself, a key advantage is you have full control of the business, you can do it your own way and you are entitled to 100% of the profits.

This advantage of full control and entitlement to profit is usually a key reason for going it alone.

Although you are unlikely to have all the skills needed to run the business, you can solve this problem by asking for support from third parties and buying in that advice.

However, the issue with working alone is it can be lonely not being able to bounce ideas off a partner on a regular basis.

Furthermore, having another partner or partners – all of whom are financially invested in the business and thus more motivated than employees – means the business will benefit from your complementary skills.

For example, a client of mine with 5 equal partners complement each other perfectly with one partner each having expertise in one of their 5 key function areas: design, sales, management, operations and manufacturing. A perfect partnership!

The key issue with partnerships, however, is trust and the ability to work together cohesively.

Sometimes (as in another partnership client of mine), disagreements can occur and partnerships can terminate, with legal action sometimes required to end things. This then can impact the viability of the business going forward.

Ultimately, before any decision is made to work with a partner, you should ask yourself:

1) Do I trust them?
2) Can I work with them long term?
3) Do they bring key skills I lack?
4) Can I also make the business work if I go it alone?

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