In the poker affiliate industry, business partnerships are commonplace and provide many affiliates with the support and two heads is better than one mentality that really helps them move forward and succeed. Having had many partners myself both online and currently offline in my catering company The Food Dudes, I thought I would share some tips on both the positive and the negative aspects of going into business with someone else.
Having a second person working with you towards the same goals is beneficial in many ways. Besides the obvious things such as a reduced workload, having that second opinion on crucial decisions can really help you analyze things from a different perspective. This is particularly useful when you face difficult choices in your careers knowing that you have someone closeby who is in the same boat.
Another major positive of partnering up is task management and productivity. Assuming you are both competent in the work (i.e. you both know how to perform the tasks), having a partner enables you to accomplish twice as much work as you normally would in the same amount of time. While you are writing content, your partner can build links, while your partner negotiaties affiliate deals, you can design a new site and so on. By properly planning your tasks and duties, partnerships can really drive efficiency in your business.
The last positive point I want to touch on is mutual satisfaction. This may sound like a weird one, but it is nice to share your success with someone else who understands it (i.e. I don’t think your Grandmother would be quite as estatic if you got a $300 CPA). Having a partner to share your successes with that you both have worked hard to achieve is a great feeling and will motivate you both to work harder and continue building.
Now for the bad…
In this section instead of explaining all of the bad things that could happen should you form a business partnership, I will make some recommendations so that if things do go sour, you will both be in a much better position.
Contracts: This is an absolute must in any business venture you go into. I don’t care if your business partner is your childhood friend, a guy you met on the street or your own family, contracts can mean the difference between a clear cut break or an expensive and lengthy lawsuit. Your contract or agreement between yourself and your partner can cover anything you both see fit, but in general some of the things you want to focus on are:
- Who owns what and what percentage do they own?
- Do you share equal voting rights on decisions or is one partners word final?
- How will your company be divided should you wish to dissolve it?
This may seem a little serious to those of you who are working with friends, but I really urge you to get these details legally hammered out from the get go to save yourselves the frustration that they could cause if something went wrong.
Duties: Another major aspect that should be discussed and possibly incorporated into the contract is specific details on what each partner is responsible for in your business and how they will be held accountable for their area of expertise. This will help you from having any “while that’s not my job” conflicts down the line and is also good for the organization of your business and checking for any gaps.
Mutual Respect: The last point I would like to touch on is mutual respect. No matter how alike you and your partner think, you will 100% disagree at some point in your relationship. It is important to remember at these times that you need to learn to respect each others viewpoints and try to come to an agreement on how to proceed that is statisfying to both of you. By doing this, you both get to represent your ideas and make a decision together which enables both partners to feel respected and heard.
Overall, I have had a lot of great experiences with business partnerships but I also enjoy working on projects on my own. I encourage you all to try both and see what works for you. Even if you fail at one, you will have learned which way works for you and that is a valuable lesson in itself.