There is no such thing as a 50/50 partnership. What? A lot of people go into business partnerships that don’t work because they can’t agree. Here is how you make a partnership work, and why 50/50 partnerships don’t work.
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Listen: No Such Thing as a 50/50 Partnership
Watch: No Such Thing as a 50/50 Partnership
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.
There is No Such Thing as a 50/50 Business Partnership
What if I told you there is no such thing as a 50/50 business partnership. I know, you’re sitting there going, “Is that true? Huh. I’m pretty sure that there is. What about equality?” I know what you’re thinking. Let me repeat that. There is no such thing as a 50/50 business partnership.
This week we’re doing a partnership series and we’re breaking down what it means to have a business partner. Why do people go into business with other business owners hoping to have a business partner? Then we’re going to talk about the agreements that must be in place if you’re going to have a business partnership survive. We’re going to talk about why business partnerships fail.
Then we’re going to talk about the exit strategy so that if the business fails or if the partnership fails or if there’s a family emergency or if there’s some tragedy or calamity, what the exit strategy is so both people can get out and go their separate ways without collateral damage, okay?
A Lot of Cleaners Jump Into Business With a Partner
A lot of cleaners want to jump in and they want to hire or join forces with a business partner so that they can have a bunch of stuff. What they’re hoping for is they’re hoping for moral support, they’re hoping for shared financing, shared expenses, shared enthusiasm for the business, shared drive and passion, like, “Oh, I’m having a bad day. I’ll talk to my business partner and they’ll boost me up.”
Right? So there are a whole bunch of unspoken reasons why people think it is a good idea to have a business partner.
Partnerships Can Work But Not at 50/50
It can work, but not at 50/50, and here’s the reason why. Anytime two people come together, there has to be a tiebreaker. So if you have two people, we’re not going to hire him, yes, we are going to hire him. There has to be somebody that jumps in and says yes or no, right? In the end, there has to be a final title breaker.
So every decision, even if it’s 50/50, even if you’re equal partners, what happens has to be 49/51. In the end, you have to decide who gets the final say. Now, what’s interesting about my business is my husband is my business partner and we’ve been married for almost 20 years.
So when it comes to my business, it is 49/51. I get the final say. So I can spin all the ideas I want with him, I can give him all the reasons why he can share with me his empirical wisdom, and then, in the end, I’m the one that has to decide.
The 51% Gets the Final Decision
It’s not like, “Well, I get to decide because I’m the boss.” It’s like, “I have to decide.” That is my responsibility. That is our agreement and because that is our agreement, whatever is, in the end, the final agreement, I might choose what he says. But I’m still the one that must make the decision. We’ve compartmentalized every area of our lives.
The reason that we did that is if every one of those compartments has a 49/51 decision on it, there’s no fighting and there’s no bickering over who gets the final say. For example, my husband’s been in the car business for 25 or 28 years. So if I have a question about a car, guess what? I’m not the 51% in that decision.
It’s going to go to my husband no matter what happens, no matter what I think, no matter how I sell him on a particular solution. In the end, he gets the final say, because he knows far more about cars than I will ever know in my lifetime.
I Get the Final Decision for House Cleaning
Now, when it comes to house cleaning, should he want a particular kind of broom, mop, vacuum, or whatever, I’m going to get the final say. It’s not that I’m better than him or I’m smarter than him, but I have far more experience in that area than he does. I will always win that fight, okay?
Here’s where it gets really interesting, based on the best information that you have and your experience. People make decisions based on the best information that they have and their experience.
So when you go into partnership with someone else and you are the 51 decision-maker for whatever that compartment is, you’re basing it on the best information that you have and your experience.
Who Has the Most Experience and Knowledge?
So what it comes down to, when you break apart your business, if you’re going to have a business partnership, you have to break apart the areas of your business between the two of us. This is if you’re going into business with someone who has the most experience in finance, they’re going to get the 51, right? Of the two of us, who has the most experience with cleaning?
They’re going to get the 51. Of the two of us with experience and knowledge, who of us has the most experience hiring and firing people? That person gets the 51%, right?
So in the end, you have all these different facets of your business, and even though you may have an equal partnership. What happens is you always default to that person for their area of expertise.
Think if You are the Right One to Make a Decision
So you’re not fighting going, “I want to do it my way this time.” Are you the most educated? Do you have the most experience? Are you the wisest person to make this decision on behalf of the entire company? If the answer is no, you’re not the 51%.
So I want you to stop as you start this process of, “Oh, I think I’m going to get a business partner.” I want you to stop and break down what are the areas of your business and I want you to be very granular about it, okay? Because every single area has an opinion and everything you do, everything you do in your business has an opinion and a decision that has to be made.
Making Social Media Decisions
Are we going to do Twitter on our business? That’s a decision, that is a social media decision someone has to make for your business. Are you going to do Twitter? Then you have to decide on the social media platform. What platforms are you going to be on? How much money are you going to spend? What are you going to do? What are your participation and activity going to be there? Are you going to grow a following there?
There are a lot of decisions that have to be made. Are you the 51 or the 49 in that decision? Make a decision today who makes that decision? It’s going to be social media. It’s going to be marketing. And it’s going to be paid ads. It’s going to be all the different facets of who buys the cleaning chemicals. What kind of cleaning chemicals do we use?
Who’s going to pay for the vehicles that we drive in our business? What kind of cars are we going to drive in the business? Are we going to wrap those cars that we drive in the business? Or are they going to be unmarked cars?
Every Single Decision Has to Have Someone to Make it
Every single decision that you make is going to have a decision. If, if you go into this thinking it’s 50/50, and it’s a tie-breaker, and you get your say in every one of these areas, you are sadly mistaken. What’s going to happen is the two of you are going to come together and there will be disagreements on some things at some point.
Then what happens is you guys are going to bicker and it’s going to unravel all the energy of your business, instead of you just stopping and saying, “Oh, let me look at this. Oh yes. Peter is in charge of this particular topic. He’s the 51%.” You back off. This is not your fight to fight. You don’t get to win this one, right?
50/50 Partnerships Won’t Work
So when you are 100% clear that there is no 50/50 partnership, it is always 49/51 or a different version of that. It could be 80/20, or 70/30, or 60/40, or whatever it is you want, whatever that is, the person with the highest percentage in that area gets the deciding vote, okay?
Now that you understand a little bit about that, I just reduced gobs of fights and bickering and disagreements and disillusionments for your business, okay? Once you default to who’s in charge of this particular compartment, boom. Now, you can get creative and now you can grow a business.
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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