"Stronger together" might seem like a weak cliche or lame business slogan, but there is some truth to that statement when it comes to forming a solid investment partnership. As an investor/landlord, you will, at some point, be faced with the prospect of entering into a business partnership. Partnerships can be hugely beneficial and enormously risky if you don't know the right questions to ask your potential partner.
Innovative Property Solutions knows partnerships. It's what we do. In fact, it's ALL we do. We encourage you to ask your potential business partner four questions before signing on the dotted line:
There are partners who see one another only during work hours. There are partners who have grown up together, have become best friends and now see each other around the clock. Here's the bottom line: ask yourself how much time you are willing to spend with a potential partner. Even ideal situations can be difficult at times and a partnership will require utmost mutual respect and clear boundaries. In addition, your partner will need to share the same amount of confidence professionally as you in order to best support your business. A partner who lacks the ability to function independently or in your temporary absence will be unlikely to possess the qualities needed in order to form a successful working team.
Make sure your candidate shares the same general business plan and long term goals that you do. Would your partner handle finances the way you would? Would profits be managed in a way which benefits the company? Would you share the same investment strategies? Many partnerships achieve short-term successes, but long-term fulfillment is harder to come by when strategies and business plans are not agreed upon. The vision must match and your partner must be flexible, yet stable. Outline an end-goal and your expectations for your partnership. Incorporate financials and amount of hours you can expect to spend together on a weekly basis. In addition, have a few backup plans in the event of a few failed Plan A's and know how much your partner is willing to contribute financially to ensuring the success of the business.
At some point, someone will want to take control. A constant democratic approach is ideal and not practical nor likely. In the event that a mutual, favorable decision cannot be made, who is going to make the final call? Here's the point: each partner will both take direction from one another as well as offer that same direction to one another. Would you be willing to hire or work for your candidate? If not, then your partnership is guaranteed to fail. There will always be someone performing the bulk of the work in a given aspect of the business, however there has to be a final decision-maker. Would you trust your partner's final decision?
While a partner should share your same goals, business plan, philosophy, etc., it is problematic if the two of you are commonly mistaken for twins. Your partner might share the same skills, background and vision, which is great, however you are ultimately working with a clone of yourself. You already possess those skills and you need a partner who can bring attributes to the business which you lack.
Look for a candidate who best compliments your personality, skills, background, etc. If you are serious, look for a partner who knows how to laugh. If you are a born networker, look for a partner who enjoys the paperwork side of the business. Be sure to take your time in finding the right person for the job who will benefit you and your business.