With very similar backgrounds, it allowed all three us to think along similar lines when we approached the idea of becoming business partners and by utilising our combined skills to drive our company forward. We have shared the daily responsibilities that owning and running a modern business entails and when faced with challenges, we have been able to support each other and bounce ideas between us to come up with the best solutions. All three of us have areas or more expertise such as Accountancy and Finance, Recruitment, Practice Brokers and Acquisitions as well as working within the financial sector and health sector.
What’s more, the business’s financial situation has benefited from the partnership as we had access to twice as much potential capital to help set the company up in the first place. From there, we set a target range for payout ratios, establishing from the very beginning what percentage would be reinvested back into the business, which has facilitated our continued growth. Within this budget, we allocated funds for staff salaries, bonuses and any incentives, the various necessary insurance policies, marketing activities and so on, putting protocols in place before we started.
One of the biggest plus points of our business partnership, however, has been stability. Giving us and our staff confidence in the longevity of the company, this has provided a better working environment and a happier workforce – and if the team is content the business is likely to do well.
These benefits have all been the result of a good working relationship, which in itself has resulted from several factors.
The first and possibly most important aspect of our professional partnership is that we tend to agree on major business decisions. It is very important when sharing ownership of a business that partners work well together and that they share the same key values and ethos.
With regards to the day-to-day running of the business, aspects such as staff management are important to agree upon as well. In order to ensure consistency with decisions about taking on additional staff, job roles and responsibilities, dismissing and promoting staff, training, salary, bonuses and holiday allowances, we designed certain protocols to follow in each instance. Most of this is of course incorporated within staff contracts so, once agreed, these procedures are easy to implement.
Clearly, there are many advantages to be enjoyed through a business partnership, but some ground rules are needed, including:
- Dispute resolution procedure – small disagreements are inevitable, so it’s important to have a procedure in place to resolve issues before they become a problem.
- Exit plan – if you both understand the other’s intentions and have an exit strategy in place, you are far less likely to encounter difficulties when the time comes for one (or both) of the partners to consider leaving.
- Communication – open and honest communication is necessary between partners so that both understand where the business is and where it is going.
As with anything, you get out what you put in a business partnership. By planning ahead and ensuring protocols are in place to avoid issues, a partnership can offer vast benefits to all business owners.