When I was discharged from the army I started my first business. At age 20 I had no idea how to run a business but that wasn’t the reason it failed. I found out very quickly that when you ask questions people will tell you exactly what you want to know. That includes other business owners and potential clients. I was able to grow hundreds of percents each month. And the growth continues till I closed my business. So what made me close it?
I took on a partner
Besides disagreements and in my case lack of work ethic that my partner had, that wasn’t the reason I failed. And notice I don’t say that we failed, but I did. The partner I chose was a friend of the family, so I didn’t make him sign any agreement. He was also older than me and owned a business before, so I trusted his experience. Hey, I was 20 years old I didn’t know any better.
At some point, my partner decided what we are working too hard and he can’t take it anymore. In his defense, we were working 15 to 18 hour days. One night he called me up telling me that he’s not going to come to work anymore and that he wishes me luck.
At that point, we (we means me) were obligated to too many customers and too many expenses that the business crashed. Just to be clear this was all my fault. I should have not let anyone become my partner without signing the needed documents if I had done so I’m sure he wouldn’t have bailed on me like that. He would have tried a legal way to get out of his obligation, giving me some time to adapt.
You should never take on a partner unless absolutely necessary
For instance, if you both came up with the idea for your business. Or each of you has a different part of the needed skills. Money should not be a consideration because you can always grow your business and get the money yourself.
And no matter what you do make sure to cover your ass. If you do let someone join you, make sure to lock them so tight in legal contracts that they can’t hurt you without hurting themselves.