To avoid a break-up with a business partner, one must decide who answers for what from the very beginning
All the periods of my life, except for primary school, were turbulent and even extreme. I got into circumstances that have tested and demonstrated the reliability of other people in different situations. Often I had to part with partners who did not meet expectations. Parting was never the best. Any divorce is a crisis situation. And yet, all of the businesses I have created, and continue to create, I build on a partnership basis.
The more partners, the better
In business, as in life, you can either focus on yourself, or make friends. The more friends you have, the richer you are in every way. This leads to a higher rate of mobilization of resources required in order to open doors. I find myself in situations that are not the most favorable from a financial point of view, the main strategic resource then becomes my address book. It is believed that the search for partners among acquaintances is not the best method. Yes, if acquaintanceship dominates over competence. But if the address book is full of professional, competent people, it is preferable.
Partnership is an exchange of competences and complementary skills. Partners are the main asset and the driving force of any project in any company. They may be investors, strategists, negotiators, analysts (business wisdom based on experience – a very important thing) and managing partners. When there is money, the fastest way to develop a business is the acquisition of companies that already have an able-bodied counterparts. “Finstar” uses this method.
A managing partner is especially precious, because he alleviates a big part of the headache
I have such partners in practically every business. I’m not the best in coping with the challenges of line management – accordingly, I do not like it. Therefore, a managing partner for me is a key figure. Of course, it can not be an ordinary person. Ideally, he is an entrepreneur. And here begin the cons. If you have the ability and ambition, it’s likely that centrifugal tendencies would inspire a partner to open an independent business. And because the loyalty of top managers focuses more on the manager and not the investing partner, there is a risk of loss of the management team. And then you can be on the verge of collapse.
Actually separating with a partner is a statistically probable thing. If you have 30 partners, probably a few will part with you. But if it’s only three – maybe enough patience and luck will hold them all. When you yourself are the main investing partner, then all others must pay attention at the highest level. Yes, maintaining mutual understanding is a time-consuming effort. It is the same in the case of marriage, or you are living together or even not a marriage. In particular, the relationship with the managing partner must be built so as not to give guidance without going through it, but keep your finger on the pulse of the management team. In “Finstar” everyone knows that I keep in touch with the top management level in order to understand their potential and career prospects.
A successful partnership can be built on dominance, or on the save level. From the very beginning it is necessary to negotiate and lock in writing who is responsible for what and under what conditions the partnership can be separated, if a party desires. Competent partners are always a plus if you learn to communicate with them and build an organization capable of consolidating and maintaining their communication with each other. Any large business is primarily based on emotional leadership. The ability to create around oneself an environment in which people are interested to work with you. Of course, building relationships with partners, people with serious ambitions and self-importance, especially in a situation of conditional conflict of interest, that any partnership is a very difficult task. But did anyone ever say that business was easy?
– Oleg Boyko, President of Finstar Financial Group