November 14, 2008

News & Opinion: Find a Friend for Starting Your Small Business

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 7:36 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

One more thought from What's Stopping You? for potential small business owners.

Entrepreneurs are hesitant to pull others into their start-up plans. The whole point is to avoid sharing the power and prestige. Consider this:

A total of 56% of the firms included in the 2007 Inc. 5,000, which is the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the United States, were starting by two or more people. (from Inc. - November 20, 2007)

The trouble is that there is no training or education for how to work in a business partnership. B-schools don't teach it. Medical schools and law schools don't teach it, even though the vast majority of the professional lives of their students are going to be spent in partnerships.

I first saw this sort of data in The Partnership Charter by David Gage. He covers the topic throughly and raises questions you would never think of asking before getting into a partnership like "What happens if the company receives an unsolicited buyout offer from a competitor?" It's a great book to get you thinking about all the right things when forming a partnership. And not the legal ones; the more powerful emotions ones.

BTW, The Partnership Charter is one of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.