Do you really need a business partner?

Scratching head in confusion

Starting up a new business can be very daunting since it may be all about you having to make all the decisions and do all the work.  Perhaps the reason why you want to have your own business is because you want to be your own boss who can make all the decisions but you fear making the wrong decisions.

Judging your skills set

A new business idea can seem very bright and shiny and yet when it comes down to the nitty-gritty it all boils down to skill set.

Like a property developer who is great at constructing new buildings to the highest quality but is terrible at interior decorating; picking out fabrics, furniture and floorboards whilst being able to put it all together to look fabulous may result in a haphazard, messy look that turns buyers away.

The question is, should the property developer enlist the services of an interior decorating company or should he/she form a partnership with a talented individual who can do the job?

What are the pros and cons?


  • Having a partner is cheaper than the company since there are less overheads
  • There is someone to share the financial and emotions burdens
  • Running a business on your own can be a bit scary, so having a partner can give you moral support
  • A partner adds more skills, knowledge and experience to the business
  • You have someone to discuss ideas with and gain a different perspective on issues.
  • The right partner can be the voice of reason when your start-up mind goes on overload.  Thinking big can be great but it’s easy to trip up and fall flat on your face by racing ahead with plans too fast.



  • To put it crudely, you may not get along.   Having a partner can be like some  marriages; you may not be a match made in heaven.

Honesty v dishonesty

  • Suppose if you find a partner who is dishonest and devious.    Money comes in but too much goes out, into your partner’s pocket without you being aware of it!
  • The harsh reality about this world is that you can judge people at face value; you can’t look inside to see whether the inside is good or rotten.   It’s a bit like buying fruits in the supermarket that seems like a good buy until you take it home and find that it’s horribly sour.   If you had known beforehand, you could have left it on the shelf.


  • You set up your business wanting to be your own boss, but you find that you have to answer to your partner first.   You want to go off on a whim, you have this passionate business idea that you want to try out but your partner rubbishes it.
  • What if you find there is no safety net at the bottom? Was it the thrill you were after.  You suddenly realise that you’re not your own boss. Is that was the real reason why you started up your own business? Or was it just to make money? Do you want to run your business like being on a rollercoaster but have no way to stop the ride if it gets too hair-raising?


  • Money starts flooding in but you have to share it – splitting everything in two.   You’re left with just enough to get by but you WANT TO BE RICH!
  • Money is coming in just enough to pay YOUR bills not your partner’s bills.   If you split everything in two, you’re left in the dog house.
  • If you had employed someone to do the job, then that’s where the buck stops but your partner has a stake in the whole business and all future profits.

Business transitions

  • Your partner was a huge help in the beginning when you needed the support but now that the wheels are turning and your business is now a success, having a partner doesn’t seem so great.
  • You want to sit in your executive chair like it’s a throne and you’re the king but your partner’s sharing your seat.   How many King’s like to share their throne with another King?
  • You want to buy your partner out, but he/she wants to stay in. You can’t be like Lord Sugar, you have to share your sugar with your partner. Things aren’t so sweet.
  • You were scared when you were starting your business like stepping on ground you weren’t sure could hold your weight and you didn’t want to brave it on your own, but now that things are working out; the ground is stable and your business is panning out, you are happy to take things from here and go it alone, but find that your partner has other ideas about that.


  • Your business partner is not contributing as much to the business that you thought he/she would.    In other words, your business partner is not pulling enough weight but when pay day comes he/she gets equal share!
  • How can you sack your business partner?   You’re partners…   You set the business up together.
  • Your partner falls ill but still expects to get paid.    How can you pull the plug on your partnership without pulling the plug on your business?

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