Catton Communications

Bringing success to small businesses

How to Choose the Right Partner in Business

How to Choose the Right Partner in Business

There can be a lot of differing opinions about the pros and cons of whether or not to partner up with one or more people when you start a business. I am someone who definitely advocates for partnerships, when appropriate. While some people think that having partners just means you're having to share your profits, I firmly believe that the right partners help you reach your goals faster and to achieve more. I like to use the example that 50% of a million dollars is still twice is good as a 100% of a quarter million.

There are a few questions to ask yourself that may be beneficial when deciding first, whether or not to have a partner, and second, how to choose the right one(s). Much of this may seem pretty elementary at first, but when it comes to moving from a concept into actual operation and growth, these otherwise simple questions or tasks soon become very important to your success.

Sharing a Vision for the Business

Although you may not always see eye to eye on every detail about your business, you and your partners should at the very least share the same overall vision in what you're trying to accomplish and a general agreement of how to get there. As long as those remain in place, you'll continue to work toward those goals and not let minor details get in the way or distract you from the more important stuff.

Use your Mission Statement or Purpose as a good grounding mechanism to bring things back on track. Make sure and have these written down from the beginning. If your potential partner doesn't share the same mission, then it's not a good idea to proceed.

Complimentary Experience

One of the first things to do is to examine your strengths, weaknesses, contacts, relationships, talents, abilities and areas of expertise. Then do the same with a potential partner and find areas that overlap and also areas where you are able to compliment each other and fill in the gaps.

Two of my most successful businesses to date include partners that primarily fit completely different roles than what I do for the companies. Although there is definitely some overlap in abilities, it is important to define who will be responsible for what and try to stay within those roles as much as possible. I have had to learn the hard way not to stick my nose into areas I shouldn't, as it can often create confusion and even chaos at times. You have to be willing to trust your partners to fulfill their roles.

You will have to decide if those things that you're looking for could otherwise be hired out (and still done to your level of satisfaction) instead of needing to give up a portion of equity in your business. You may also have to look in another direction if you're too similar and would therefore be stepping on each others' toes too much along the way.

Some examples of complimentary roles can include one partner having key relationships for sales while another has them for manufacturing, or one has the time and drive while the other has money and guidance. One may have a building and connections while the other has marketing experience and loyal customers to bring. There are endless possibilities here. The point is to find out what pieces of your puzzle fit together the best.

Overcoming Disagreements

Inevitably, there will be times when you have disagreements with your partner(s). One of the best pieces of advice I was given regarding this is to clearly lay out in writing what to do when that happens, well in advance of any issues. An example would include how to vote on something or who the ultimate decision-maker is in a conflict, keeping in line with the goals of the business. Too often people ignore this and think that things will magically work themselves out, and although it may be easy to address most of the time, there is going to be something along the way that requires more depth to resolve.

Have Questions?

If you have other questions about your business and partnerships, feel free to reach out to us any time via info[at]cattoncommunications.com.

Starting a New Business

Starting a New Business

There are a lot of people out there who feel they have a million dollar idea. Unfortunately, most of them stop at the idea phase and never take action. Others may start to take action but either give up too easily or make some major mistakes early on. These are the main reasons why most great ideas for new businesses fail within the first three years.

If you have an entrepreneurial drive at all, you've probably seen many episodes of Shark Tank and thought "that should be me." You're certainly not alone there. What if there was someone who could help you out, but on a smaller scale? The majority of new small businesses haven't achieved enough stability to be worthy of big time outside investment yet and need help getting off the ground. Even more people are still in the concept stage and need help bringing their ideas to reality.

That's where we can help. We have started several successful small businesses that have generated millions of dollars in revenue and we have also served as consultants for others to do the same.

Now we want to be able to help even more people be successful. If you have an idea for a business and want help getting it off the ground, or if you already have a company and need help growing it, contact us to see if we may be a good fit.

Intention vs. Routine

IntentionWe continually analyze the results of our work, and often compare them to the work of others in similar markets as ours and our clients. While we pride ourselves on creating efficiency (the biggest bang for the buck), there is something else that keeps popping up over and over again - intention.

We are a boutique consulting firm with a limited number of clients. Sometimes we're hired for specific things that we do well, while other times we're brought in to help create and implement more strategic plans. Regardless of our role, we put a hefty amount of intention behind our work, whereas we have noticed other people or companies that seem to be simply going through the routine as if it were a common action that doesn't require much thought.

There has been considerable research done into the field of the power of thoughts and intentions, such as the works highlighted by author Lynne McTaggart in her books. There is overwhelming evidence to show that the intention behind an action can have an impact on the outcome.

I have personally witnessed and experienced this time and again. For example, one of our clients has noted how his staff is amazed that their phones ring more and the sales are higher just by his presence in the office.

We put this kind of intention behind what we do, and it shows with our clients, whose feedback continually mentions how they love being able to out-perform competitors despite spending a fraction of the amount. Of course some of this is due to planning and execution of the overall strategies for them, but it is also attributable to the intention we put behind our work compared to others simply going through the motions of their routine.

Intention goes beyond metrics, and it shows in the quality of the end results. Contact us today if you'd like a free consultation to see how we might be able to help your business.