OK, so you’d like to start your own business, but the idea of striking out on your own is daunting. That’s understandable. It’s a big leap to move from being a paycheckaholic to working for yourself, but your new venture doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition. The choice is not between working for an organization or going it totally alone.
Have you thought about teaming up with someone else? There can be a lot of advantages to working with another person—still working for yourself, but not by yourself.
Here are just a few of the many great reasons to start your business with a partner:
- Accountability. Just as working with a coach at the gym can help you stick to a fitness routine, having an accountability partner will help you stay disciplined in your new business. Jon and I have often said that we’d have given up long ago, had we not had an accountability partner. It’s a lot harder to miss an 8 a.m. Sunday morning scheduled slot when you know that someone is waiting for you.
- Complementary skill sets. It takes a range of skill sets to start and run a business. Having a partner with different strengths than yours can help you to cover more bases when it comes to getting your venture off the ground.
- Do what you do best. If you’re working with a partner whose strengths are different from yours, there’s a greater chance that you’ll be able to spend your time doing what you’re good at. This will mean greater enjoyment for you. And if you’re going to spend countless hours on a venture, you might as well enjoy yourself. If you are doing what you enjoy, your commitment will be greater, and you’ll be more likely to stick with the venture.
- Reduced financial risk. Let’s face it. Starting a business is risky. In working with a partner, you can reduce your initial financial commitment, and you’ll be putting less of your capital at risk.
- Increased potential to network. In any stage of a business, it’s important to network. It’s especially critical during a startup phase, when you’re getting the word out and building the brand. Working with a partner increases your possibility to network and promote your business.
- More creativity. If you’re just one person working in a business, your perspective is limited, and you might fall victim to a kind of “groupthink of one.” When you work with a partner, each of you brings a different perspective, personal background, expertise, education, and life experience. This diversity leads to more creativity in all aspects of the business. In working with a partner, you’ll generate more ideas, and the vetting process will help you to turn out a better-quality product and solve problems more creatively.
- Coverage. When you’re just starting out and still self-employed, there is no such thing as paid vacation. If you don’t work, the business doesn’t grow, and you don’t get paid. But what if circumstances take you away from the business? Being able to tag team makes a tremendous difference. Recently, I had to deal with a family medical situation, and I needed some time away from Paycheckaholics Anonymous. Jon was able to step in and keep the blog going while I dealt with my family matter. It gave me great comfort to know that our venture could continue uninterrupted. Having a partner makes it easier take a day off every now and then.
- Strategy & execution. When you’re working alone in a business, you may sometimes have difficulty differentiating between strategy and execution. You may find yourself bouncing between your “should-do” and your “to-do” list. When you’re working in a team, you may find it easier to balance the two areas. For example, some meetings might be dedicated to developing the strategy of the business and others might focus on tactical execution. Each member of the team can help focus the other.
- Ability to adapt. In today’s fast-changing business environment, flexibility is critical. To succeed, you need to keep abreast of trends and developments in the marketplace. In this case, two heads are better than one. With a team, your awareness factor is increased; you can consume twice as much content in the form of articles, books, podcasts, etc. At Paycheckaholics Anonymous, Jon focuses on developments in marketing and branding, and I keep an eye on trends in the HR and operations domains.
- Learning and personal growth. When you work with another person, you have tremendous opportunity to learn from your teammate. You can learn new skills and techniques from your partner, and your partner can provide you with useful feedback about yourself.
There are so many advantages to starting a business with a partner. The best reason of all is that, by teaming up with someone, you are increasing your chances of success. By working with a partner, you’ll learn more, grow more, risk more, and achieve more.
Have you thought about teaming up with someone to start a business? What advantages do you see? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.