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In theory, a business partnership sounds like a great idea – half the workload, another pair of hands, half your risk etc. In my experience, however, a partner of any kind (and I include active investors in this category) can be a very difficult beast to manage. There are, of course many potential benefits in having a business partner. They may bring many things to the party – money, expertise, a valuable customer list, an established business framework i.e. a sales team, HR, payroll, accountability, support etc. They may also bring things that you hadn’t anticipated – stress, meddling, liabilities, management overhead, personal issues and soon.

So is agreeing to a partnership the right decision?

As with all things in life, nothing is ever black or white. If you are considering a partnership ask yourself the following questions and answer honestly:

1. What do both parties bring to the table and is it an equitable agreement? That is to say, is it a fair exchange? There is nothing more likely to bring a partnership down quickly if one party feels that they have contributed more than they have received.

2. Do you actually need a partner? Could you simply take your business idea, hire in the skills and go it alone?

3. Are you both willing to have a legally drawn-up partnership agreement that details the duties and obligations of each party? If the answer is no then ask yourself why not? It may be that you feel that you can trust this person implicitly and that may be so but there are many external factors that can change this. For example, what if your partner gets divorced and his wife claims half of his assets – where would that leave you? What if he is involved in another business enterprise that suddenly requires funding that was originally earmarked for your business – where would that leave you? I could go on but I think you get the idea.

4. If your potential Partner is a friend are you prepared to lose the friendship if the business idea doesn’t work?

5. What split of equity is appropriate and how will you decide? Would a tightly controlled profit share agreement be more appropriate enabling you to maintain 100% control of the shareholding? Whatever you decide think carefully before agreeing to a 50-50 share split – deadlock between partners is not a healthy place for any business to find itself in.

6. What happens if the proposition is not successful? What liabilities will there be and who will be responsible for them?

7. What happens if after a period of time, one party wishes to exit the partnership? Make sure that you can clearly define a solution that will enable one party to walk away or be bought out without bringing about the downfall of what is by now a successful enterprise.

There are many other questions that you could ask. What I believe that I am advocating here is that you go into a partnership with your eyes wide open. It is common for people to be seduced by all the potential benefits of a partnership without even considering any of the risks involved. Just don’t be one of them.

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Achieving that Elusive £1 million

It is unbelievable that 99% of business owners actually never set out to truly succeed.  Just 1% of us build a £1 million plus turnover business with substantial profits.  But Why?  What key factors do successful business owners have that make them so successful?  In this article I will share with you 6 Essential Elements that every successful business owner I know exploits:

1.     Create a Winning Psyche

Every successful Entrepreneur I can think of has an extraordinary mind set and psychology.  They have RESILIENCE.  It is this resilience that enables them to leap the obstacles in front of them time after time.  They set out with a big dream and have the determination, doggedness and resolve to achieve it.  So many entrepreneurs have been through a ‘bankruptcy’ and yet they get back up, learn from their mistake, and move on to become millionaires. Their failures are turned to successes.

2.     Find Success and DO THAT 

Don’t ever underestimate the power of learning from others.  Ultra successful people can be sources of unimaginable information if you just watch what they do.  Look at their behaviours, their actions and their mind set and determine what makes them successful at what they do. Model that success and harness it for your own purposes.  Don’t be tempted to follow the masses – if you model what they are doing you will simply be doing the same as the masses. 

3.     Whatever Your Business, be a Marketing  Master    

Truly successful entrepreneurs don’t dabble in Marketing.  They are Kings of Marketing, in fact, whatever their business actually is, their real business is actually Marketing.  They employ multiple marketing methods, their web strategy is to build a customer relationship for life,  they use ‘remarketing techniques’, they leverage the power of technology with the use of video and autoresponders in online marketing and have powerful referral strategies to increase leads.  Their core focus is continually doubling and tripling their customer base. 

4.     Pricing for Profit

The idea that everyone buys goods based solely on price is absolute rubbish – a myth.  If it were true, nobody would buy expensive cars, designer dresses or 4 month World cruises.  In fact, 85% of the population do not buy based on price alone.  They will look for higher priced, higher value options and between 5 and 15% will go for the most expensive option regardless of what else you sell.  Successful Entrepreneurs know this and they will not price according to the mass market but will add perceived value and charge for it! 

5.     Be Smart with Time

Successful Entrepreneurs know how valuable their time is.  They leverage their time and are ruthless about every minute of their day.  They do not answer calls that they know will add no value.  They spend as little time as possible doing anything ‘low value’ such as answering emails.  What they do needs to be high value – marketing, selling, working on long term earnings etc.  

6.     Strategy Innovation – Wipe Out Your Competition

Being able to leverage a perceived value in around a product or service that enables them to create their own market and make any competition irrelevant is an amazing talent.  Successful Entrepreneurs have usually found an ‘edge’ that has enabled them to grow their business in a ‘uncontested’ market.  Some business owners are lucky enough to have a team in-house that are able to build a strategy to enable this kind of market placement and growth.   Some will turn to experts Innovation Strategists to help them to create and control their market.  None-the-less it is a key factor in million pound successful businesses.

How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
With One Simple Step

So you are a successful entrepreneur now – fabulous.You have a business, staff, customers, decisions to make, bills to pay, outstanding creditors to chase and you are working a sixty hour week.You are selling your product well but you need to spend some time on the marketing plan, the finances, the next product launch and you are already working a sixty five hour week.

It can be really lonely at the top.I know – I have been there.When you start up a small business enterprise you expect it to be hard work because everyone tells you that it is.What you don’t expect is that you will feel so distant from everything you once knew – your family, your friends, your employees, your social life.Everyone you know is very supportive but somehow you just don’t want to take your work home with you so you don’t pursue those conversations. It would be nice to be able to talk through your business issues though.

There is nothing like having a confidante who truly understands your situation, the decisions that you have to make and the pressure that you are under. Some business owners have a business partner, some decide that to inject new ideas they need to have one or more Non-Executive Directors.

Seeking Positive Change and Substantial Growth

For me though it has to Mastermind Groups and Mastermind Coaching.When I discovered my Mastermind Group, I was looking for positive change and substantial growth in my businesses. I was running the show pretty much on my own at that time and I needed external input.What I found was a group of ten very positive, focused, committed, like-minded business men and women whose sole purpose in meeting monthly was to ensure their success in business.And boy did it open my eyes!

Harness The Mind-Blowing Power of 10 – Priceless

I found that being with a group of success-minded people motivated me even more to achieve my goals.I am already a very focused person but being a member of such a group made me feel accountable in a way that I had never done before – there is absolutely no excuse good enough for letting anything slide even by a day!The combined thinking-power of this group is immense and the innovative ideas that I was able to use and build on were mind-blowing. I was able to learn from the successes and mistakes of others by listening carefully and following well-seasoned advice.Equally, I felt that I was able to contribute significantly to the group with my own experiences and that was a huge confidence boost.For me, membership of such a group has been absolutely priceless, both in the subsequent growth and success of my business enterprises but also my own personal development.