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When to Engage a Partner in Small Business and When Not?

As a fact of the matter, two people who have different business skills can do better business together than alone. But, often, a lot of entrepreneurs are confused on whether to involve partners in their small business or not and when is the right time to have a business partner.

Well, there is no right or wrong time to involve partners for your small venture. You can have a business partner at any time, i.e it can be a co founder who joins you right from the beginning, or it can be an initial investment partner or someone who invests in the startup on a later stage.

But there are certain things to keep in mind to make most out of a business partnership.

While Starting a Business:

Having a co founder is a great way to kick start a business, as you two can give your best to build your dream.

A co founder is a big help when you are a non-techie and you need someone to lead your tech product. A co founder is a must also when you are entering into a market where you do not have much experience, and the other person is an expert in his field.

But, if you really do not need a big tech help or knowledge investment, you better keep the key decision making power to yourself.

You will need to start alone and once you start your business you must try to exercise your total control over it. As initial stages are more complex then the subsequent stages of the business, it requires more careful planning and just to avoid any ambiguity in the decisions or difference of opinions.

It may be difficult, but you can seek help of a mentor of a business advisor to streamline the process. Moreover, if you need a helping hand in execution, you may hire an expert or a consultant.

When Actually Things Change:

The need of partners will only arise, if your resources or skills gets restricted after a certain point and you will require outside help either to sustain or to grow your small business. Refrain from engaging in bad partnerships at all costs.

These partners will provide you with money or technical skills; however they will come at a cost of sacrificing decision making powers and profit sharing.

Again at this stage if you do not want to sacrifice the decision making powers, you may think of continuing with consultants. The biggest difference is that consultants are to be paid a service fee while the partner will take a certain percentage of the profit.

But the good thing about preferring a partner over a consultant is that a partner will offer an unlimited service as his motive is to increase his profit and as a result you will get an increased profit too. On the other hand, a consultant will offer a limited service and his major concern is his payout.


To be precise, having a business partner vs not having one is the game of right choices only and you make choices based on options you have. While running out of finances you may consider sharing powers, on the other hand when you are running out of time and you want to keep complete ownership as well you may opt for outsourcing!

Well, having a partner doesn’t always mean it’s a 50-50 business, so you can have a limited partnership too. All you need to focus is to specify and document all the terms and conditions before you enter into any partnership. It’s the best measure to avoid any confusions or disputes at a later stage. Due consideration should be given to the selection of partners too.

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