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Business Partnerships - OSL - 10-03-2011 06:47 AM

I recently had a fairly nasty falling out with a potential business partnership.

I'm in the process of filtering through several candidates that I want to partner with and, so far, I have not found one outstanding partner. I'm the kind of person who works better in teams, so I'm looking for someone who would benefit from my strengths and help with my weaknesses.

Anyone have any stories about business partnerships that either massively succeeded or massively failed?

RE: Business Partnerships - Hooligan Harry - 10-03-2011 09:00 AM

What sort of business?

We started off with 5, and are down to 3 partners over a 2 year start up period now (still not even operational. R&D and capital raising stages still) We axed two partners, and it was not easy to do, especially considering one was involved for about 18 months and at that stage and we had secured a substantial amount of funding. It got ugly.

Biggest lesson I learned through all this is that skills can be bought and there is no need to bring on partners for skills alone.

Things like networks, money, existing customers, existing exclusivity in supply...these are the sorts of things that actually bring some real value and are worth handing shares out over.

Partnerships work when there is extreme reliance between partners. If one partner had to die or be put into a coma, the business would basically topple over in the early stages. If the people you are talking to do not have that sort of impact or influence at all, then to be frank you are wasting their time and their value is difficult to measure. You will also always end up carrying them, instead of being able to rely on them to handle their function.

RE: Business Partnerships - Ami5 - 10-04-2011 12:21 AM

I may have some beneficial contacts for you. Got a question:

- What are your Deliverables in a prospective partnership, and similarly what do you expect from your partner?

RE: Business Partnerships - k37 - 10-04-2011 12:53 AM

My experience with business partnerships is that they are a waste of time. I've had two business partnerships fail dismally.

You cannot trust how people will react when things don't go to plan, I had a business partner pretty much drop his nuts and leave me on the hook for a significant amount of debt when things didn't go to plan. This was despite him "ticking all the boxes" as to what you'd expect from a business partner.

If you want to work in a team there is no reason why the other team member can't be an employee or a contractor so you have a contract with what you want on paper to fall back on.

Anyway that's my two cents =)

RE: Business Partnerships - OSL - 10-04-2011 03:03 AM

I'm going to take the solo route on this venture - it's going to take me a lot longer to do it, but I'd rather do it my way and hire outside help as needed.

There is currently no role that stringently requires that I have a partner at the moment.

I basically wanted to find out how guys have dealt with the fallout of sour biz relationships in the past. I'm not looking for new partners, but thanks.