Business Partnership and collaboration? How to choose.
When I decided to start a business, I initially had a partner. I thought that with our complementary skills, we would be able to create something magical together. We met a few times and started working on a general plan to conquer the digital space. He came from a more traditional background, we could take advantage of that, and I from the digital space. In fact, the name Two Creative , the name of my company was chosen in part because we were two.
What we quickly realized while working on this project and before we really started is that we had different goals. He was looking for stability from 9 to 5 as I was ready to make the leap into the world of entrepreneurs.
If you’re wondering if a partnership or collaboration is the right choice for you, here are some tips to find out!
Partnerships are great when they really work. The first thing you need to ask yourself is why are you partnering with someone for your project? Is it because you are afraid to do it for yourself? Or is there really value added in a partnership with the person you have chosen?
The first thing you need to think about is complementary skills. Do you and your partner complete you in terms of knowledge and even personality? It’s really important because when you’re working on a business project, you’ll need a variety of skills to get things done. If you and your partner are the same in terms of skills and personality, it probably will not work. Teaming up with someone who is different from you and who thinks differently is a value for the company. Your goals should be the same, but the way you do it, the problem solving and what you can offer the company must be different.
Having a partner is also helpful in easing the financial burden and getting things done. When there are two or more people to share tasks and financial responsibilities, it’s easier. However, the choice of a partnership should not be based on this thought, even if it is very important.
Teaming up with a friend can be a blessing and a curse. I knew people who were very good friends and do not talk to each other anymore. Communication is the key to partnership. No one is seeing, and there must be constant communication to function properly.
I can not stress enough the importance of a partnership agreement. We never think about what might happen at the end of the day because we are optimistic, but it is very often the case. Partnership agreements stipulate all the key information about who is entitled to what, how things are divided, what are the responsibilities of each and what happens if the partnership is dissolved. Partnership agreements are legally binding and must be drafted by a lawyer.
This is the option that really worked for me. Collaboration is essentially teaming up with other entrepreneurs for specific projects that have a start and end date and do not ask to commit to working together beyond that. For me, employees are an important part of my business. I can collaborate on different projects with different collaborators who are best suited for certain tasks, without a permanent partnership with them. Unlike a partnership, you do not need to ask one or more people if they agree with a decision because the decision only depends on who is in charge of the project.
In the collaboration model, you still need an agreement, but it’s strictly a project agreement that basically tells you how you collaborate and what it looks like.
Collaborating is also a great way to create a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who appreciate the additional expertise of others. It’s a great way to build a network of trusted employees and add value to a small business, allowing it to search for larger projects based on this additional expertise from collaborators. I had a lot of success with this business model and for now, it’s the one that suits me best.
Your overall goals determine whether the partnership or collaboration is best for you.
What do you think about partnership versus collaboration? Which one worked for you and why?