Unpopular opinion. You don't need a partner to start your business.
Before you write me off and say this dude has no idea what he's talking about hear me out.
A lot of us use a co-founder or a partner to hide behind. If you throw some complexity into your company structure it's easy to point fingers and not focus on things that matter.
Trust me I know! I've done it.
"Yeah, but Jim is the capital behind everything we want to do"
Even worse. I'm all for leverage, but if you've never attempted entrepreneurship there is a lot to learn outside of finding a sweet opportunity to sell your product or service. You'll need to know what you're good at and where you lack so you can supplement the deficiencies. Chances are if this is your first attempt you won't know that.
But... What if you skipped all of that mess and got straight into, ahem, you know, building a business?!
Lean, Mean, Revenue Retrievin' Machine!
A great deal of us want to build a business to get out of the dreadful 9 to 5 that we have now. We have so many fantasies on how great it's going to be. So my question is why would you want to complicate things?
If you skip the partnership up front that's one less salary to account for to get yourself out of the 9 to 5. You'll already have to account for taxes and other expenses such as healthcare, why double or even triple those expenses? It doesn't make sense to me.
"If it's just me who will help split the workload?"
First, you're assuming you're going to get clients 😂. All jokes aside, that's going to be another problem by itself and deserves its own attention. If you're at the stage where you're still deciding if you need a partner or not, then you're not ready to think about splitting the workload.
If you get to a point where you need to divvy out work then what you need are employees - which good and can be a sign of growth.
Trade The Partner In For A Good Support System
You may say to yourself, well having a partner will help balance me out and give me someone to bounce ideas off of.
Then I would say...
Cool! 👍🏽 It doesn't have to be a partner in your business in order to do those things...
You can build a really great support system of people who are a few steps ahead of you and ask them the all questions you have. People love to talk and even more so if they feel as if they're helping someone out.
Think about the times you've felt as if you were bestowing knowledge upon a younger version of yourself. It feels rewarding and if you surround yourself with people who can pull you up, you'll be in really great shape.
You can also take the route of hiring consultants to get an outside perspective. Yes they cost, but they'll be much cheaper in the long run than trying to afford a salary of someone quitting their day job to join your company full-time.
My First Business Was A Partnership
Way back when I helped co-found my first business I was apart of a 3 person partnership. We had the attributes on paper to make an all-star team, but... we didn't hit any major home runs.
We spent a lot of time trying things out with no real solid plan or proper guidance. We were the same age, and pretty much had the same skill set, and zero experience with business. The fact that it was 3 of us in this company was ridiculous, especially in the early stages. To this day I still don't know why we felt the need to start the company as a partnership. I believe it was because we seen that we we're all doing the same thing and thought "if we come together things will be better?!".
I can tell you this, I learned a pretty valuable lesson and that was never to partner-up in the beginning, especially if you're newb status. It's better to come to the table with something on both ends, than to start something with nothing on both sides, join forces if you will.
Even better is to start something by yourself and bring people in later to help expand. There aren't too many instances I can advocate for where you need multiple full-time people fumbling around on what's best for a company trying to get off the ground.
Express Your Inner Control Freak
It's ok we're all control freaks to some extent - I know I certainly am. I have very strong opinions on what should be the focus of a business I'm involved in and how things could or should be ran. As you're building out your business I'm sure you'll develop your own set of rules as well.
Not everyone goes into business for the same reasons and eventually you'll butt heads. An even worse scenario is if you never butt heads, that could mean that nothing is getting done and each of you are tip-toing around sensitive subjects.
To Sum It All Up
This is the TL;DR (yes at the bottom of the page cuz I'm evil 😈).
Skip partnership lessons (for now) - get money 🤑
The above is a tweetable! :)