Many people are scared to get into a partnership lest their partner refuse to pull their weight, or worse, abscond with their money or all the clients. Social media entrepreneur, Pippa Tuckwell, provides a counter-narrative, and talks about the positives of forming business partnerships.
“It’s tough to go it alone,” she says, reflecting on the Legend of Zelda, who is given a magical sword for protection. She has been lucky to have gone into two business ventures, both times with a partner, who was more than just a business partner. “They became my mentors, showing me the ropes, validating my skills and making me feel safe within the partnership,” she says.
Pippa’s Tips for Partnerships
- Money talk. Most partnerships require equal investments but in some cases, a different split of investment and ownership occurs. Talking about money off the bat can put your potential partner on the back foot. Once you feel comfortable that the ideas are flowing, that the possibility of success is high, and that you have a level of compatibility, then talk about money.
- Draft a contract. Commence your conversation with a list of thing to discuss. It’s advisable to draft of a contract that you can work on together, settling the finer details of your partnership as you go. Do not be embarrassed to ask for what you believe you deserve. Enter the discussion with an open mind and listen to how your prospective partner responds to your requests.
- Divide the work equally but play to each other’s strength. “In my current partnership with Carrie Hampton we run Safari Tart, a travel blog. Carrie brings travel journalism, PR/marketing, business and networking to the mix. I bring creative web design skills and social media clout. By sticking to our strengths and validating the importance of each other’s role, we created a new concept creating sponsored blog content in a niche market. We back this up with a great website and effective social media. It’s been a 50/50 split of effort, rewarded by 50% split of income and expenditure.”
- Be honest with timelines. Do the best you can in the time it takes. Saying you will get something finished in 20 minutes and not delivering causes anxiety, pressure and potentially conflict. An honest and open relationship in your partnership is especially important when it comes to
- Write it down. A contract doesn’t have to be complicated, but it must state each person’s expectations clearly, with a timeline if necessary. Make it right the first time and use this document as your reference in regular meetings where you check on progress and you’re your views.
- Have Patience. When it come to making a partnership work, don’t throw in the towel too early. Allow for your partner to see things differently.
- Stay Positive. I am one of the luckiest people I know. I have been blessed with certain skills that others value. I value my own judgement and the part I can play in a partnership. It’s vital to have fun and stay positive. Remember that it may be a work, but it doesn’t have to be a job.