If you have an idea for a business and you’re on the cusp of starting something new, one of the main questions you may initially ask yourself is whether or not you need a business partner.
A business partner can be an invaluable asset, but there are some possible downsides to consider, as well.
For example, if you bring a partner in, it can mean access to more technical and business skills as well as financial input. However, you may need to do a comprehensive background check on a potential business partner and of course, you’re also going to be sharing profits.
How do you balance the pros and cons of a business partner and know whether or not it’s the right choice for you?
There are benefits of having a business partner, beyond what you might initially think about. These include:
- Accountability: When you have a business partner, it can help you keep up with your goals and shared objectives. Staying accountable can be one of the biggest issues when you’re a solopreneur and it’s one of the reasons a lot of great ideas don’t make it. When you have a business partner, both of you have someone else to answer to which can help ensure that you stay on track and it can reduce the likelihood you’ll give up on your goals.
- Someone to talk about your ideas with: If you’re an entrepreneur of any kind, you likely have ideas all the time. Some of them may be great, others not so much. Having a business partner gives you a sounding board so that you’re not pursuing ideas that maybe aren’t so great and wasting time and resources, but you’re also going to have someone who will tell you that crazy idea you have isn’t so crazy after all.
- Emotional support: Starting and running a business is tough, and it takes an emotional toll. That toll can become overwhelming and having a business partner means someone to share not just the actual workload but the emotional load as well.
- Productivity: When you’re working with someone else, you’re going to be able to cover more ground in your business overall. You’re going to be able to bring visions to life faster and reach goals more quickly.
Reasons You Don’t Need a Business Partner
There are some situations where you might be better off without a business partner. Some of the reasons you might not need to bring someone into your business include:
- You’ve had bad experiences in the past: If you’ve been burned by business partners in the past, you may not need to go down that road again simply because it’s likely going to be difficult for you to trust anyone else.
- You’re not interested in sharing the profits: If you have a partner who brings true value to a business, then sharing profits can be well worth it. If not, or if you think it would be difficult to bring someone on who would financially justify their involvement, maybe you do it on your own.
- You like working alone: Sometimes, the decision to not have a business partner is a simple one. You might like working alone. That might be one of the things that you find most compelling about being an entrepreneur, so a partner may not be right for you.
So how can you decide?
If you’re starting a business because you want to ultimately solve a large-scale problem in society or fill a void that you’ve identified, a business partner can be good. In these types of businesses, it’s not as personal. You’re not building a business based on your personal interests so much as building something that you think will succeed because there’s a need for it.
On the other hand, if your business is a highly personal passion project, it may be better to steer away from a partnership.
With a business built on personal interest and passion, you’re likely to run a smaller operation, have less of a workload, and of course, you’ll also feel that connection to your business that may make you feel protective of it.
If you still aren’t sure whether or not you need a partner, write your business plan.
Once you write your business plan, you can start to gain a better idea of how you plan to drive revenue and what you see the structure and path forward looking like, as well as whether or not a partner would fit into that.