Many people prefer to start a business with friends or family members, seeing them as people they know well, like, respect and can trust. While working with people you have already vetted can have advantages, such partnerships can benefit from outside voices as well, even if these voices are not part of the partnership, or even part of the new business.
People with whom you are close are often not objective. They may tend to see your ideas in a positive light and not notice any drawbacks. Or they do notice potential problems but don’t want to bring them up. You are finally going ahead with your dream and they don’t want to be the ones accused of trampling on your dream. And if someone close to you is not afraid to burst your bubble, you may be in the habit of tuning them out. Having an objective voice to bounce ideas off of in the early going can help you and your partner get your business off on the right track.
If an objective voice is also a mentor, so much the better. If you are starting a business for the first time, executive coach experts say it can be invaluable to seek counsel from someone who has been through it before or someone who is more knowledge in the field. Looking to someone more experienced for advice also increases the likelihood that both you and your partner will be open to following the advice!
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At some point, working with close friends or family members will stir up passions. You may both have strong feelings on opposite sides concerning a company decision. If you are unable to reach an agreement, it could hurt the partnership. And with partnerships often 50-50, one person cannot simply pull rank.
If your objective voice is going to serve as a referee on a regular basis, he probably needs to be an important part of your business. But it may not be too much of an imposition to call on him to help you and your partner navigate the occasional roadblock.
If you and your business partner travel in the same circles and know largely the same people, you will be at a disadvantage when it comes to networking. Turning to an outsider, whether to make her an actual partner or simply to seek out new contacts, could greatly expand your network and business opportunities.