One of the best questions on my free biz-building Q&A last night was about partnership. The person who asked the question set the stage by saying she’s in an LLC with a 50/50 partner. They complement each other well in many areas, but often disagree on how to invest their capital. One believing that upgrades and branding are vital, and the other being far more conservative.
As the CEO of Mighty Ventures, I’ve been involved in building and accelerating dozens and dozens of businesses. I’m on the advisory board of many, and believe me, I’ve seen a lot of teams who work very well together. But I’ve also seen many who have deal breaking philosophical and financial differences. The truth is this: in a partnership, especially, each principle needs to own certain areas of the business 100% – meaning that have final say in these areas. Otherwise it’s too easy to hit stalemate situations all day, every day. It’s just like any healthy relationship – both partners have to see enough value in keeping the thing going to share the power. So finding ways to compromise so that both partners are fully heard and honored is vital. It’s also best to document and define in writing who the decision maker is in each area. This will limit misunderstandings (and wasted time) and allows everyone to focus on GROWING the business.