Bernshtam – How to Work Well With a Business Partner
When Eugene Bernshtamand I started our business 4 years ago, the thought of how we would work together was honestly something that never crossed our minds. We had a great idea which we both believed in, we invested the same amount of money and we just assumed that everything would be fine. Thankfully for Eugene and I, everything pretty much has been fine and whilst we do have some lively debates, we have always been able to work very well with one another. We were talking last week about just how important this was, and how fortune we are, and this is what you are going to need if you plan to work alongside someone in an ownership capacity.
Euegene and I identified very early on that we couldn’t be making decisions on the same things all of the time, and that we would have to divvy up the roles within the business. We sat down for a meeting, agreed to who would take the point on which areas of the business, and we have done that ever since. We know our roles and that means that we are confident that everything is taken care of.
Whilst we do have our individual roles, it is important to mention that we are always keen to have an input into what each other are doing, and you have to always remember that this is for the good of the business, and not for the sake of nitpicking. If you get perplexed at a comment which someone makes then you really aren’t going to last very long. You have to take everything as feedback and then ensure that you do the same when you are adding something yourself, always be constructive when speaking.
All big decisions should be taken together, unless one is completely indisposed. There is absolutely no circumstances beyond this where you should take a decision on your own terms. In doing this you are slowly chipping away at the link of trust between you and your partner, which will eventually come back to bite you both.
Eugene and I have very much a win together, lose together mentality and that means that we both shoulder the blame for our successes and for our failures. This is also something very important to continue that solidarity that you have together. Each person will know who is to blame for a win or a loss, so having it out really doesn’t solve anything. The best course of action here is to just take things on the chin, share the guilt or the blame and then move on.
Ultimately working with a business partner is about sharing everything 50/50, being organized and understanding that you both are as important to the business as each other. If you can do this and keep a high level of patience and open lines of communication, you’ll be just fine.