Taking On A Business Partner? Avoid These 4 Common Mistakes

Note: This post was originally published on OPEN Forum.

At first glance, taking on a partner seems like a great idea.  You’ll be combining forces with a colleague who probably has complementary strengths and can help with the tough decisions. Sure, you’ve heard horror stories of badly-matched business partners before, but you two are perfect for each other.

Unfortunately, the fact is that over half of all business partnerships fail, according to small business expert Andrew Sherman, a partner with Jones Day (in Washington, D.C.). But many of those failures could have been avoided with smart planning upfront — something small-business partners often fail to do.

To increase the odds that your partnership works out, your best move is to familiarise yourself with the typical reasons for failure and what to do to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Not pinpointing roles

Failing to discuss long-term goals

Not stipulating how to make decisions or resolve disputes

Giving short shrift to your partnership agreement

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