Partnership: Choosing the Right Person to Expand Your Design Business With

Choosing just the right person to be partners is crucial in business, yet so many fail to do due diligence and end up frustrated and disappointed when a partnership fails.  

February 12, 2009
30 minutes + 15 minutes Q&Q

Choosing the right person as a partner to expand your business can be just the thing you need to survive and grow, especially in uncertain economic times. Mark Busse and Ben Garfinkel, who began their partnership nearly two decades ago, share their perspectives and advice for design professionals considering a business partner, with many examples and references from their own personal and professional experience.

Recently we published a short article about partnerships which was well received, leading our friends at FunctionFox to asked us to create a more comprehensive presentation called Partnership: Choosing the right person to expand your design business with and host one of their popular webinars on February 12th, 2009 at 11am PST. We’ll try to jam all our thoughts into a concise 30 minute presentation followed by a 15 minute Q&A session. A summary of topics covered in the webinar:

  • Be honest with yourself about your business
  • Understand what a partnership really is
  • Analyze the situation thoroughly from all angles
  • Recognize the risks
  • Investigate the candidate thoroughly
  • Resist the urge to work with friends or family
  • Consider fit, style and approach
  • Don’t rush into things
  • Consult a lawyer and accountant
  • Create a shareholder agreement
  • Define roles and responsibilities
  • Consult your mentor or trusted advisors
  • Determine conflict resolution
  • Listen to your gut
  • Commit as you would to a marriage

We don’t profess to have all the answers and have had partnership struggles ourselves over the years, but we hope that sharing our experiences will be of help to you. Did we miss anything  you found helpful when you were beginning your partnership? Please add your comments below and share with our readers.