Monday, March 28, 2011

Business Partner

Photo by Piper Kinney Photography
When Holly and I decided that we wanted to start a business together, we both got a lot of advice. One of the big concerns that friends and family shared with us was having a business partner. We appreciated their concern because we know the statics. Generally, business partnerships don't last. One partner ends up buying out the other partner because they can't agree on the direction of the business. We get that!

For me, I was not going to start another business without having a partner. I owned an advertising and public relations agency for five years. I loved being a business owner, but I didn't like not having a partner. For example, if I went on vacation, by business didn't run. I wanted someone who I could bounce ideas off of, who had a vested interest in the success of my agency and could bring their own experience to the table. When, I sold C Media in 2008, I told my husband that the only way that I would ever own another business was if I had a partner.

Flash forward to June 2009. Holly and I had been kicking ideas around for our business. Then, she called one warm summer morning with the idea for We are asked a lot if it was a hard decision to put our own money behind the idea. And I have to say that the answer is no. We both caught fever immediately!

Here's why I think that our business partnership works...
  • We were friends before we started, but we weren't friends for a long period of time. There is no "water under the bridge" that we bring to the table.
  • Our children are the same ages. I can sympathize when she can't work one day because the kids are sick, have a school play, field trip, etc. She can do the same for me. 
  • We have similar skill sets but not the same. When I went to Disney World for a week, she could take over my responsibilities and keep my "balls in the air." I think that it's important not to have the exact same skill set because then we would be stepping on each others toes. I also think that if our skill sets were not somewhat overlapping then it would be hard to find a common ground to work from.
  • We try to keep a balance in our relationship. We talk business one minute and share a funny story about the kids the next minute. I think this helps to keep us grounded and to keep the friendship going.
  • We both have the same core values. I don't have to worry that she is conducting business on my behalf in a way that I would disagree with.
  • We discuss all business decisions with each other. Even if it's her area of expertise, she'll run it by me first. I do the same. She doesn't need my advice or permission, but it keeps us on the same page.
  • We respect each other and are able to empathize. I think that this is so important. We have not always agreed on everything, but we have always been able to see the other person's point of view and consider where that point of view is coming from.
Here is the number one reason why I think that our partnership is one that will beat the odds. We both want to be wildly successful but not at the cost of our relationships with our husbands, children or each other.

Here's my hope! When our last children go off to college, we can have a long lunch and reminisce about our 20 years of friendship, our business relationship and  laugh at our mommyhood stories. And we can cheers to STILL bring friends.


1 comment:

  1. I think you two are AWESOME!!!!! You are great together!:) You two rock!