I think I can speak for both of us that our partnership will last a long time. We are at different positions in our careers, but our partnership goals are aligned.
How did we accomplish this?
Again through many interesting and exploratory conversations. We cherish these conversations. Although we don't always initially agree, one of us ends up making the most sense and the other, grins, nods his head and waves the white flag.
You see, we never approach things from a who is right or wrong perspective but rather from what works best for our client viewpoint. I have never experienced either one of us being stubborn to the point of not finding the best solutions. Ron and I have also pledged to continue our dialogue so our partnership stays strong.
TIP FOUR: Make sure your partnership goals are aligned.
Develop a unified strategy for your business. This may take a great deal of time, but it is worth it. This is not putting together a business plan that will sit on a shelf. Do you have a written formalized strategy that identifies the vision of the partners and where you best succeed in the marketplace? If not I would encourage you to start strategy planning.
This includes the vision of the partners, a SWOT of the company and detailed action plans to execute key projects on time and within budget.
Figure out where you agree, disagree and make compromises; not on just what you like but what your business needs to succeed. We call these your critical success factors! (Check out the standard six on our site: http://www.filthyrichcontractor.com/systems.html
TIP FIVE: Create a period of forgiveness.
We know partnerships require a lot of work. Doesn't it make sense to invest time and energy in your partnership in a positive that way will bring all parties much benefit. Partners that work and live together have additional challenges. Often the business becomes an overwhelming 24/365 monster. This is a potential recipe for disaster.
If you have been in a partnership for a long time there is probably a lot of good history and some not so good history. Bring the partners together for a "forgive and forget" session. If you can bury the past it will not adversely affect future progress.
This is something you basically do one time. So if you are in a partnership relationship that one person or another is apologizing often this will not be an effective solution. On the other hand if you can approach this sincerely you will bring the partnership and its people into the present and leave the negatives of the past behind. Think of it as the business is beginning a new chapter.
For those of you that fall into the category or working and living together, I implore you to remember what the business is suppose to be about! I know you did not create it, inherit it, or buy it to have disagreements that threaten the relationship. Therefore you shouldn't let it get an ugly head and roar.
Stop the monster from developing in the first place. You can accomplish this by not being overly critical of the other person. Sometimes we end up doing tactical things that we weren't formerly trained for or necessarily like to do. Constantly criticizing your partner is nonproductive. Instead try alleviating some of the other person's pressures.
I suggest you make personal time where discussing the business is forbidden. Ron and I have given assignments to clients that live together to make a date night on regular intervals. Each person rotates planning the next date. It may be difficult at first but it will be worth it! You can even create a game or contest around leaving business topics behind for the date night or a specified time. Make the game fun so both parties come out winners. I will leave the rest to your imagination.
TIP SIX: Make the partnership fun!
If you are a partner then you are an owner too! Make your work place a fun place. I have clients that are partners in business and are also good friends. They do fun things together. Hunting, fishing, watching sports, traveling and drinking fine whiskey and smoking imported cigars together just to name to name a few. Why not? There are many ways that at least part of these activities can be paid for by the business.