3 Things To Consider When Starting A Business With A Partner

Have you ever thought about partnering with someone to jumpstart your business career? I have always thought that a partnership, particularly a 50-50 one, is a challenging one.


See, two individuals could have two different talents and styles of management. So, both need to learn how to work together but also work independently so as to not step on each other’s toes—meaning, you know you have each responsibilities individually, but also tasks to fulfill together.

This ensures that your partnership is healthy and productive (the goal, if you ask me). It’s rather a challenging path, especially deciding that 50-50 is the right partnership for the both of us.

Kyle Geers, CEO of Zeroed-InConsulting, emphasizes the need to put intention behind the shared ownership.

He highlights these key steps in doing so:

1. Know what each of you are giving up: both of you might be giving 100% effort but not getting 100% control.

Your partner and you need to get aligned on the mission and vision of the business. It’s easy to just assume that your partner loves doing this,, but hates that stuff, so you take control over those tasks they seem to not like. However, if you don’t set aside time to sit down and talk about your company goals, it will cause much friction down the road. So, make it part of your process to make time to talk with your partner and map out each other’s areas.

Ask each other: what things can I contribute to the company that I am good at and gives me energy after accomplishing it.

At the end of the discussion, you both will learn that you are not the same individual. And that is a good thing. You see, if both of you are good at the same thing or have interest in the same areas of the business, you will just clash, because neither of you would be willing to give up control over something they are also good at. Your business will have a clearer goal if partners are able to articulate their strengths and weaknesses rather than just rely on assumptions.

2. Be humble and make sure that no one is taking individual control of the entire business that both of you should be operating.

So, what are you both gonna be happy doing and excited to be doing separately, and how does it mesh together? The longer you work with someone, the better you will know that you have different working styles. There is a little room for assumptions in a partnership.

How would I know if my partner hates meetings if I love conducting them?

My partner needs to let me know what their preferences are so he can stay as productive as I do. If I keep assuming and putting my partner in uncomfortable situations, it is no longer a partnership since I am now leading everything. In the same manner, my partner cannot assume that I would be laying out everything for them.

3. Be open and willing to critique your partner and accept honest feedback in return

Partners  need to be self-aware and willing to accept feedback. Realize that communication is the key to succeed in any partnership.

Uncomfortable with random calls at 8 pm? Tell your partner.

Respect each other’s boundaries. You can’t call someone at a time when they specifically say that is their quiet time, right? (Of course, for you to know that, you have to ask them yourself or they have to tell you that themselves.) What Kyle finds helpful is creating a list and only sending it over once his partner is already available. This ensures that both are getting the most out of how they work and how they take their time off.

In conclusion, a 50-50 business partnership can be a powerful tool to propel your business forward.  However, it requires a delicate balance of shared responsibility, open communication, and mutual respect. Both partners need to understand their individual roles, strengths, and weaknesses, and be willing to work both independently and collaboratively. The key is not to assume, but to discuss, align, and strategize together.  It’s important to create an environment where each partner feels comfortable expressing their ideas, preferences, and concerns, and where they can constructively critique each other and accept feedback. 

Remember, a partnership is not just about running a business together; it’s about growing together, learning from each other, and building something greater than the sum of its parts.  Above all, keep in mind Kyle Geers’ advice: put intention behind shared ownership, and you’ll set your partnership up for success.