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If you know me, you know that business ownership is one of my “things.” I really pay attention to businesses that are owned by multiple people. Business partnership is not easy, so when you have a partner, multiple owners in a business, that relationship is completely unique. It is separate from the business itself. This is relationships between humans, you know, sometimes relationships between humans can get messy. So what I’d like to tell you now is that it’s really important to have a good relationship with your business partner. If you have one now, it’s not to late to sit down with them and go through some of these questions I’m going to be talking about. If you’re thinking about going into business with someone, this is the time now to sit down with them and talk about some of these questions. So what are these questions? We’ve prepared a questionnaire that we ask people to fill out whenever they come into our office to write an ownership agreement and what this does is touch on the soft stuff, the hard stuff, and the mutual stuff. So the soft stuff is all about what your actual unique abilities are, how you see this business playing out. The hard stuff is, what am I going to be responsible for and what happens if I don’t do these things, or what happens if I change my mind? The mutual stuff is, how do we work together? How do we put this agreement together? What is the framework for the relationship going forward to make sure this business is as successful as it can be. One of my pet peeves is when people work so hard and they sacrifice so much and they get the business built, and the business is doing fine. There’s nothing wrong with the business, it’s now the humans can’t get along with each other. The business either starts to suffer or they are so in conflict that one of them has to leave and that may jeopardize the business itself depending on how that departure process goes. So be careful when you have business partners. It is a very delicate relationship. Obviously having an ownership agreement or partnership agreement in place is one of the best way to keep some boundaries around that relationship, keep some guard rales on, show you the path forward if something terrible happens or somebody makes a different decision. There’s always a benefit to having a plan in place. So that’s my spiel! I’m all about making sure that ownership relationships don’t effect the business in a negative way. Business ownership is an amazing way of living your life, making sure you’re getting along with your business partner goes to that as well. If we can help facilitate that, let us know!
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