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Business Partnerships - any experience or advice?

(13 Posts)
Saddlebagger Fri 25-Jan-13 13:48:01

I'm developing a start up (although also due to have a baby in a week!) and have been starting to work with a web designer (it's an online business's), he was keen to get involved in the business but couldn't give that much time therefore we have agreed a slightly reduced rate plus a minority share.

However what I'm finding is that this means, although he is good at his job, I am bottom of the pile client wise and often feel that he would like to be telling me how to run things, either way it doesn't feel like a high energy partnership. However, it does mean I will get my business delivered!

Anyone been in a similar position and can offer advice?

DolomitesDonkey Fri 25-Jan-13 17:22:59

I went into partnership with someone last August. After what I hoped would be a "letsgetashifton" 48 hour meeting in November things in my eyes deteriorated.

After that meeting there was a period of 7 days when my partner did not communicate with me.

I realised that this was not the makings of any sort of working partnership, was never going to be at a pace I wanted and to boot - I didn't start my own business to be ordered about and have my suggestions stone-walled.

Luckily we had not entered into any legal agreement and so I terminated our involvement saying something along the lines of "apparent that we have different visions about the business and different ideas of timelines. "

Ironically this partner said "I understand you're too busy". shock

Needless to say I launched successfully on my own on 17th December. grin

You do not need a web designer. If you can use word to write a document you can create a website.

Saddlebagger Fri 25-Jan-13 17:34:58

Sounds like you made the absolute best move... Fantastic to hear your story and that you have succeeded.

The website is huge a involves a lot if graphics so I do need a web designer, but it doesn't have to be him...

We've not signed a shareholder agreement so I can pull out easily. Just considering carefully as it means I'm back looking for a web designer again when I'd like to be getting started!!!

Thanks v much for sharing, made me laugh and realise it may not be worth pursuing!

DolomitesDonkey Fri 25-Jan-13 19:22:24

Yes, it may well be that it's not worth it.

I had to have a long, hard think and quite a few discussions with my husband to gain clarity. I realised that I am 100% passionate about the business, but I wasn't going to "love it" because of this person and also that I didn't want to be working with them in 5 years, or even 2 years. sad

But yes, after all that procrastinating it took me approximately 17 days to build and launch the entire thing on my own... after all the fannying around and waiting previously.

The person I was working with was not "hungry for success" in the same way I am as they were pulling in 7k+ a month - I just didn't want to wait years to launch and also this poor communication was a massive signal that it was awful. I mean can you imagine if one of your employees just didn't turn up for work and then wouldn't answer the phone for a week? You'd fire them right? But when you're caught up in some complicated professional thing there's no easy way out. I'd also have felt extremely resentful about profit sharing given apparent workload sharing!

DolomitesDonkey Fri 25-Jan-13 19:23:32

Ironically I'd chosen that partner because of their networking and confidence skills - yet since ditching them my confidence has soared. smile

All I can say is trust your intuition on this one - you wouldn't marry someone you don't trust or respect. You're welcome to PM me if you want to discuss.

sydlexic Fri 25-Jan-13 19:31:26

Partnership tax returns are a pain, avoid if possible.

bluetortoise Wed 30-Jan-13 11:59:19

I am SO glad I found this thread. I was also having trouble marketing my online business and after having a long chat with someone with 'experience' in the area I invited her to be my business partner shock She was in full time employment at the time so I knew there was going to be an issue for her to put time in the business... Well, cutting a long story short she left her full time employment last month and before she went on holiday said we would meet as soon as she was back... haven't heard from her since... I know this sounds stupid but I don't know how to terminate her 'involvement' with the business shock

DolomitesDonkey Wed 30-Jan-13 12:30:57

blue Ironically in my situation I was the one working full-time with 2 under 2.5 and she was the one who worked part-time and was single... hmm

DolomitesDonkey Wed 30-Jan-13 12:31:49

How many more times will I use the word "ironically" in this thread? blush

DolomitesDonkey Wed 30-Jan-13 12:34:09

blue Do you have a contract with her or have you registered the business as a partnership or is she one of the directors of your limited company?

If none of the above I would send a letter/email saying something along the lines of "due to differing goals and commitments I have decided to cease our joint venture with immediate affect".

Otoh, what if she's had some TERRIBLE accident or been eaten by polar bears or crushed under a Ben & Jerry's novelty fridge at Tesco? You'd never forgive yourself! wink

bluetortoise Wed 30-Jan-13 12:59:47

This sounds like a great idea Dolo, cause we don't have a contract or anything formal but we still need to meet up though, or i stilll need to work out what i owe her cause we bought and create a few things together...

DolomitesDonkey Wed 30-Jan-13 13:24:25

In that case, work out what you need to pay her to absolve yourself of all responsibility/guilt. Write the cheque or make the transfer and send the letter saying what you need to say and that you've enclosed x amount for all full and final costs.

Don't get personal, don't point fingers - just saying that it's not working and that you have different visions - and although it's unspoken - one of those visions would be "answer your fucking phone/email are you fucking kidding me? you want 50% of our business and yet you put nothing in? If you were an employee you'd be getting your P45 in the post!" - although it's better to go with the former. wink

bluetortoise Wed 30-Jan-13 15:32:10

Thank you ever so much Dolo for your help and for taking the time to do so... i needed to find the courage to make a decision... You helped me a lot smile

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