“I thought that was your job”. This is something that business partners say a lot when they don’t communicate correctly. The business partnerships that succeed are the ones that have great communication and clear guidelines; here is how you do that.
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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
I Thought That Was Your Job
What? I thought that was your job. Oh no, you know what I’m talking about, right? Yeah, this is when people go into business with each other and they think the other person is doing part of the business. What we’re covering this week is, what is a business partner? Is it a good idea? What is the exit strategy? What kind of agreements do we need to have in place? And, how do you track the progress of your business partner, so that your business is running smoothly?
The thing we’re going to cover today is, I thought that was your job. This is where you don’t have the roles of the business partner clarified and both of you think the other person is doing something. The first reason we bring this up is that if you are going to have a business partner, it is super important that you clarify the roles of both of you upfront.
You Have to Clarify No Matter Who Your Partner Is
Now, here’s the challenge we have. Lots of people will go into business with their mom, their dad, their kid, or their spouse. And because it’s a family member and it’s somebody that they’re very familiar with, they skip a whole lot of steps. And the steps are like, hey, we’re gung ho about this business, let’s make it work. We’ll figure it out as we go.
What happens when you start a business, there’s this newfound energy and enthusiasm and excitement, but it’s like a honeymoon. So after the honeymoon, everything is again, all right, everything’s good, and the excitement kind of wears down. When the excitement wears down if the rules are not crystal clear and clarified and in writing, everybody kind of assumes the other person is carrying the weight.
And then nothing gets done and then when it comes accountability time, you point the finger at the other person and you’re like, “that was your job.” It’s not your job unless you agree to it. And so, what happens when we have business partners, if there are no agreements, stuff falls through the cracks and this is where a lot of businesses get in trouble.
Break Down the Tasks in Your Business
So, first, we need to sit down and break down, what are the tasks of the business? And, if this is a new business that you’re just starting up, you may not know what the tasks are yet. But right now, if your business is hiring people, there needs to be somebody who is in charge of hiring and firing people.
That person might also be the same person that sits down and figures out on paper, what are the rules and regulations of this job? What exactly are we looking for? And, they might even be the person that contacts Indeed and puts the ad on the site and writes the ad, and does the ad copy.
You Have to Be Clear On Each Job’s Responsibilities
Is that also the person that’s in charge of the recruiting process that actually sits down and does the interviews? If it is, that needs to be enclosed in that particular role requirements. You’re going to write this down on paper and say this is what this job entails. It’s almost like having a job interview except for the person that’s for the job is actually your business partner.
So they’re saying, “I will take that role in the business. I will take that job. I will be responsible for that.” Once they take responsibility for that, they become the 51% partner of that task.
We talked in another one of the business partner series about the 51/49 partnership where they always get the final say, the person who has the 51%. We agree they will have the final judgment call if it’s I oppose your opinion, they will make the final tiebreaker.
There are a Lot of Facets in Any Business
Now, the reason this is so important is that there are a lot of different facets of the business. For example, in my cleaning business, when I was out cleaning every single day, I was also the one that was in charge of doing the inventory.
So, it only makes logical sense I would also be the one to replace the inventory. When we run low on supplies, I’m the one that’s in charge of reordering. I may not be the one that’s in charge of financing, but I’m the one that’s in charge of reordering the inventory and keeping the place stocked.
If my business partner is then in charge of financing and accounting, we need to sit down and have a meeting. And we’ll say here’s how much I’m spending on cleaning supplies. Here’s how much I’m allocating per month per house. What is my budget here and how do we make this work?
Everyone Has to Have Their Division in the Business
So, there becomes a time where you have to work together, but everybody still may have their own separate divisions of the company. This becomes important so that everything gets taken care of. In your business as an entrepreneur, and you’re just one person, you wear all the hats.
Those hats are going to be making sure that you yourself get up every day and show up to work. It’s making sure that the business is up and running and all of the customer’s needs are met for the day. And that you have all the jobs outsourced for the day, that everybody has their work orders for the day.
When the jobs come in from the end of the day, that all of the accounting is done for the end of the day, that we get paid for all the jobs there, that all of the customers get a thank you note or an invoice. Did we get paid for those jobs? Did they meet the satisfaction? There’s somebody that has to be responsible for that.
You Must Split Work With Your Business Partner
So as the small business owner, you’ve got to do it all, but if you have a business partner, you can split it up, but here’s the key. You must split it up. It’s not optional and it’s not like we’ll just figure it out as we go.
Because then when an employee comes and says, I need 10 days off, well I don’t know. Let me check with my business partner and let me see if it’s okay and now you’re going back and forth and back and forth and that’s wasting your time if you are not the person that does that. By splitting everything up, really clarifies the roles that each of you will play
You Only Have a Finite Amount of Time
As business owners, whether you own half the company or whether you own the entire company, you have a finite amount of time. And so, there’s only so much time that you have in the course of the day that you can dedicate to your business. You only have a certain amount of physical energy.
You only have a certain amount of emotional energy. And you only have a certain amount of creative and intellectual energy. So, we’re wearing all these different hats of the business and sometimes we’re spread really thin.
The Point of Having a Business Partner
The point of having a business partner is to split the duties so you both can do what they do best using their finite amount of resources. So, it is really important to sit down and have a meeting where you break down every single rule that’s in your business. Who’s in charge of social media, who’s in charge of hiring, who’s in charge of training? Who’s in charge of inventory, who’s in charge of payroll?
Every single person in the business, whether you have multiple business partners or whether you just have one, all of those roles have to be split up. Otherwise, they both jump in and they both try to do the same job, and then everybody gets frustrated because, well, I thought that was my job.
Well, no, I thought it was my job and I’m going to do it my way because my way is better. Well, no, my way is better, and then you have this bickering back and forth.
How to Avoid Bickering With Your Business Partner
The quickest, fastest way to succeed in a company, if you have a business partner, is to remove the bickering. If you can sit down and be crystal clear about the expectations you got this, this, this, this, and this, and you’ve got the 51% decision on that, then when it comes time for that to be qualified and measured, then you just sit down and you say, “Hey, share with me what you have.”
And, that person can then share with you the progress that they’ve made, so that way you’re not doing their job and they’re not doing your job and you find yourself in a situation where you’re like, “But, I thought that was your job.”
Business Partnership Essentials: A Step-by-Step Action Plan for Succeeding in Business With a Partner – https://amzn.to/3g7iP2A
When Your Business Partner is Your Spouse: How to Have a Successful Business AND a Happy Marriage – https://amzn.to/3itpaH4
Forming a Successful Business Partnership: The 9 Things You MUST Consider When Starting a Small Business with a Partner and Creating a Business Partnership Agreement – https://amzn.to/3cNYNZ5
Strategic Business Partner: Aligning People Strategies with Business Goals – https://amzn.to/3x6g7A7
Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You – https://amzn.to/3pBmSHs
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