How do I Choose the Right Business Partner? | Sarina Russo

How do I Choose the Right Business Partner?
By Sarina Russo Editorial Team

By Christine Deutsch (Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs Business Coach)

Starting a business is a big step and including a partner to share the business journey with may be something you’re considering. Having someone who can support, compliment and challenge you can go a long way to creating that formula for business success. 

What is a Partnership? 

  • Two or more people who operate a business together generally through a Partnership Agreement who distribute income or losses between themselves.  

Why would you want a business partner? 

  • To bring additional skills, experiences & resources to the business 
  • It can be cost effective 
  • To share control & management and to share the load 
  • To share the profits & losses, and there are tax benefits 
  • Operational flexibility – allows time for partners to take breaks 

What are the disadvantages of a partnership? 

  • Personal liability – your partner’s fault is your liability too
  • Decisions about what happens when the partnership ends

A business partnership is not unlike a marriage. It requires: 

  • A shared vision and goal with values & strategies that are aligned. 
  • Mutual hard work with each partner using their respective strengths to grow the business. 
  • Open communication & effective conflict resolution – a business lives in a dynamic environment and there will be stormy seas and tough times to navigate. 
  • Mutual respect and a balance of power that recognises the contribution of each partner
  • A 'business divorce' can be just as messy as a marital divorce – a partnership agreement with clear lines of responsibility during the business partnership & the splitting up of assets after the business partnership ends may help.

The essential traits of a potential business partner: 

  • They bring complementary skills & experience to the business 
  • They share your values, entrepreneurial spirit & vision
  • They offer resources & credibility to your business
  • They are financially stable, without a lot of personal baggage & are reliable 
  • They practice good personal & business ethics 
  • There is mutual respect and clear communication ie they are willing to be accountable and solution oriented. 

Successful business partnerships: 

  • Proctor & Gamble – brothers-in-law related by marriage started by combining their two businesses - soap making and candles. From there, they developed other personal & cleaning products including shampoos & dishwashing. 
  • Hewlett Packard – university classmates creating electronic circuitry equipment and branched out personal computers and electronic calculators. 
  • Ben & Jerry’s – high school mates who opened their first ice cream ‘scoop shop’ in 1978 with their now signature flavours including Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and a string of franchises worldwide. 
  • Larry Page & Sergey Brin – launched Google in 1998 – is there more that needs to be said!
  • Paul Allen & Bill Gates – high school friends and co-founders of Microsoft. Allen died in October 2018 reportedly giving more than $2 billion towards advancement of science, technology wildlife conservation & supporting the arts & community services. 

Not 100% sure you will be able to create a startup successfully?

We offer accredited small business training that can help turn your business idea into reality. Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs (SRE), in conjunction with The Self-Employment Assistance program (previously New Business Assistance with NEIS), enables Australians to set up and run their own small business. The Self-Employment Assistance is 100% Australian Government funded.

Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs (SRE) supports candidates as they complete BSB40320 Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business. During this, candidates create a comprehensive business plan and a two-year financial cash forecast. SRE Trainers provide meaningful mentoring for the first twelve months.

Eligible candidates receive the training and support to create a viable business plan, in addition to obtaining a Certificate IV in New Small Business.

For more information, please click here. 


You may be interested in

Get that Job
How to be Successful Working from Home
In the past, working from home used to be the dream for many workers, however, it is becoming more of a norm. More people are choosing to leave their full-time corporate lives behind and work from home. A PwC survey found that 83% of office workers were eager to work from home at least one day a week. ¹
Get that Job
What to Look out for in Pre-Employment Reference Checks
Reference checks are an essential part of the recruitment process, and according to a survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 92% of organisations conduct them when hiring new employees.
Sarina Russo Group acknowledges the First Nations Peoples of this Country, the traditional custodians connected to the land, water and community on which we live, work and help others to live their best lives. We also pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging, who strive to build a better and more sustainable future for future generations to come.