Like many worker bees in Corporate America I too dreamed of leading my own organization. I dreamed of creating a company from the ground up that would sustain itself (a start-up). I dreamed of a world where my talents were finally attributed solely to me. Never in a million years would I have imaged the tangled web of deceit that was being webbed around a beautiful concept where I continue to cut my way through. One huge mistake that I cannot account for has cost thousands. While I know somethings are beyond us I recognize that I didn’t do my due diligence with my past business partner. At one point this person was my best friend. With this, I didn’t think to check behind an adult who had already earned my trust. I thought that I knew this person. Knowing what I know now and having networked with a plethora of professionals these unfortunate things happen in life.
Despite someone’s situation you must protect your interest and health above all else. If that means recognizing that there are no friends in business then so be it you will be a healthier person for it. Enter a potential business partnership knowing that a corporation will outlive you and so will it deeds, debts, and lackthereof.
When evaluating a potential opportunity you might find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions to protect your interest. Know that you run the risk of making a costly mistake if you aren’t cautious.
1. Is the task equitable? If you are delivering more than the other party will this be sustainable. This could be financial and or intellectual property.
So the other person may not be delivering as much as you but they may have connections that would otherwise be untainable. This leads us to question number two.
2. Is your potential business partner in the know? If your business partner is well known for positive reasons and connected this may outweigh all else.
I know that it’s hard to imagine the end in the beginning but it’s important. In the business world everything is a process. By examining the process of how one deals with stress we can picture how they might hand other situations. This line of reasoning leads us to questions number three (3)
3. How does the other party deal with stressful situations? By examining a person’s problem solving skills you often find the solution to our problem.
A business is very much like a marriage both begin with paperwork and fees. They can both end in litigation. Before you make a costly mistake make the informed decision as to if you need a business partner to complete your objective must be had. Ask yourself if the work is equitable as feelings of spite get old quickly. Is your business partner well connected and opening doors left and right? Or is your passion the only thing driving your goal. By examining how a person deals with stress you can begin to picture how the partnership might come to a close. Know what you bring to table and make sure the table is glass - transparency matters.
Peggy Arthur, MBA
Founder and Creator of Curl Kitchen ™ and Video Blogger