Let’s Talk Business: Partnerships

On Business Partnerships - Studio 404

Hello friends! I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to get this post up on this space. After the launch of the Heart + Hustle Podcast, I really wanted to talk about the benefit of business partnerships. After working with my husband for so long, I’ve never batted an eyelash when it came to collaborating with someone else. I do know that most of my friends are solopreneurs and the thought of partnering with someone else in a business sounds overwhelming. We have all heard crazy stories of business partners fighting or ending their friendships I can understand the fear.There is a way to benefit from partnerships without offering half of your business.

Pick Your Partnership

I think when we use the word partnership or even collaboration, we’re overwhelmed with the idea of working with someone else. Most entrepreneurs enjoy working alone and being the person who makes decisions. There comes a time in everyone’s career when you learn you just can’t do everything. I know I have some strengths but I have many weaknesses. Very early in our relationship, David and I began to collaborate on projects. I didn’t think twice about deciding to start a business with the same person I intended to be in a life partnership with. Not everyone can work with their spouse. David and I are very different in many ways but we can be alike in our way of thinking and ethical philosophies which keep this business afloat. The point being is that you can choose what you want to do with another person when it comes to business. Here are some small things you could possibly try to see how you would like partnering with someone else.

  • Create a regular guest blog series. I’ve seen bloggers do this and I think this is an excellent way to get into working with someone else. Two or more people can collaborate on blogging about a topic on a regular basis for however long you want. It could be for a month or an entire year. I think this is the easiest way to collaborate with someone else because there is complete ownership of what content is created while each person is responsible for marketing via their platforms. This methodology has introduced me to several other bloggers so it definitely works.
  • Collaborate on a project. Have you ever worked with someone on a long-term or short-term project? It can be challenging but very rewarding to invest time into working with someone else. I have found nothing but joy in creating the Heart + Hustle podcast with Charisma which is leading us into more collaborations.
  • Collaborate on a product. This is where we start to add in finances and bit more accountability. By creating a product with another person, you want to bring the best qualities you have and find someone who will compliment your weaknesses. Good things to do are e-courses or e-books which are passive income streams that require a lot of time upfront and just time promoting on the end.

The Approach

Do you know someone who you would love to work with? Are you not sure how to reach out? Sometimes finding a business partnership can feel like going on a date. You’re worried about receiving commitment and finding the right match. There isn’t a “right” or “wrong’ way to connect with someone. There are things that you can look out for to know when it’s best to reach out.

  • Be Genuine. I think the biggest thing about creating positive partnerships is having genuine relationships. If you’re approaching someone to use their audience or exploit their success, you probably won’t get a reply. Create partnerships with people that you connect with.
  • Have Proof of Concepts. It’s important to present ideas in the same way you would present mock-ups to clients. Treat your partnership as  you would a new project. It’s ok to be more casual but being too casual can be a turn-off. For me, I enjoy when someone takes time and puts in the work before presenting an idea to me. It helps me visualize what they want to accomplish which speeds up the process.
  • Don’t Be Hesitant. I believe we are more hesitant to collaborate because we’re afraid of being turned down. You may get a no but is that the worst thing that could happen? Don’t allow the risk of failure to keep you from possibly creating something amazing.

Accountability

I believe this is where most people have concerns. How do you divide up accountability, finances, and assets? It’s important for transparency upfront. Be sure to meet and write down everything that needs to be done. You can then assign from there what tasks will be completed, who will cover finances up front, and how things will be divided up. As an example, for Heart + Hustle Podcast, Charisma and I use Asana to divide tasks and see where we are on individual items. I am mainly responsible for editing and design work. Charisma conquers the majority of the social media and content planning. Also by using a task management service and sharing files, we can stay updated on what we’re doing. This all varies from person to person and project to project but accountability should be sorted first.

  • Be honest. If you don’t have a skillset or aren’t interested in doing something, let your partner know. You both benefit when you’re at your best. Be sure to allow your partner to express their strengths and weaknesses as well.
  • Have everything written. It isn’t the best idea to jump into things without writing things down. Have things put together formally and in a place where you both can view it. I would even go as far to say that having a contract in place when money is involved is a must.
  • Be open. There is nothing worse than working with someone who is closed off. You need to be open with your partner on everything that affects your ability to contribute. You have to be open to receive openness in return.

How do you manage business partnerships? Let me know in the comments below!

Letter Me A Love Song Project

Letter Me A Love Song is a 29-Day lettering project where everyday I’m letting a different love song by a black musician. I’m so excited to be challenging my lettering and editing process this month which will hopefully push me beyond what I’ve ever created before.

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