I recently read an article about business partnerships in the Huffington Post.
The article focused on two best friends, Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp of Birchbox Founders, who started a business together.
Barna said: “The key for us was clarifying our dreams up front, making sure we were on the same page for what we wanted to accomplish and really communicating, just like a relationship…. The more we talk, the better we’re able to stay connected.”
What most new partners don’t realize is that the most important thing for them to discuss is the partnership agreement. It is common among new partnerships to resist doing this foundation work, after all, who wants to discuss the negative when in the honeymoon phase of creating a new venture?
I agree that partnership agreements written by lawyers in legalese with the breakup in mind, is not an easy place to start. They are not personal, understandable and do not reflect the unique individuals, their talents, personalities and their relationship — all of which is key to your success.
Because there is so much resistance by new partners and because I’ve seen what happens when partnerships go horribly wrong, I was motivated to create a template, a guide really, that walks partners through difficult conversations and decision making.
As a result, potential problems and misunderstandings are avoided and instead the team sets a strong foundation for success. I wrote the Guide uniquely for you and by you, with your visions for the business, how you will resolve the inevitable disagreements, handle crises and much more.
With most of the decisions made, it is then ready to show to a lawyer who will fill in additional legal clarification and specifics according to laws of your state.
Barna writes about not wanting to face the “negatives” in the beginning of a business when everything is so exciting. Going from the excitement of finding each other, having an idea that you both love, and going ahead with the business while ignoring the agreement accounts for much of the statistic that 70% of partnerships fail. Clarifying and strengthening the relationship between the partners in the beginning is the key to success.
You can receive a complimentary sample of my Business Partnership Agreement Guide by scrolling up to the top of this page and filling in your contact information. You will also receive updates and more tips on how to have a successful business partnership.