November 14, 2008
News & Opinion: Find a Friend for Starting Your Small Business
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.