Starting a small business on your own is one thing, but partnering with another industry professional is another thing.

Business partnerships have been around as long as people have been creating businesses, but unfortunately, the process or merging ideas has not become less difficult.

A small business partnership can be incredibly beneficial, but it can also be scary, difficult, uncomfortable, and dysfunctional if not done in the right way.

Finding the Right Fit

When determining whether a small business partnership will work out for the beneficial goals of all involved parties in the end, you need to consider fit.

Money is one thing, but fit is another.

Even if a potential business partner has the capital to help you invest in a brighter future, if he or she doesn’t have the right fit, or attitude and approach, then no amount of money is going to solve such a problem.

Determining fit is also a matter of personal goals.

If you have a goal that involves taking over a specific industry while a potential partner only seeks to keep said industry afloat, you might not be a good match.

Keep Some Sense of Control

One thing that happens often in business partnerships is that one side, or even both, gives up control.

When this happens, the party giving up control assumes that the other side will simply “handle it”.

In the article, “Why business partnerships are so difficult and what you can do about it“, the author looks at this issue and says, “If you want to partner with another company, and you’re the smaller company with more to gain, you should expect to do 90% or more of the work. So roll up your sleeves and get going!”

This is very true and is something that needs to be carried over from the pre-partnership thinking to the post-partnership thinking.

Read Contracts Carefully

When entering into a contractual agreement at any stage of personal or professional life, it’s important to read over and understand any details.

This is even more so the case when defining a business partnership, especially if your business is not the one defining the terms.

Whenever you are presented with a binding document, read it over, have your attorney read it over, and don’t sign anything until terms have been negotiated and settled.

Failing to do so may result in years of legal hassles, lawsuit proceedings, and worst of all, lost profits and earning potential.

About the Author: Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include business partnerships and development.