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4 Tips for Buying an Existing Business with a Partner

Buying a business with a partner can be a great tactic to cultivate and develop a profitable business. Although in theory buying an existing business with a partner sounds like an easy decision, there are some factors to consider before diving into a business partnership.

Partners in a business must work hard to make these professional relationships work. Each individual must strive to see things through, and nurture the partnership over the years. When you and a professional cohort decide to purchase the perfect business together, follow these 4 tips to ensure you’re creating a meaningful and long-lasting relationship:4 Tips for Buying an Existing Business with a Partner

1. Establish Clear Expectations

Head out of the gate together by defining exactly what responsibilities each partner will carry once the purchase of a business is final. Decide if each partner will have specific responsibilities and areas to oversee, or if the entire running of the business will be a team endeavor. By defining roles ahead of time, you both will enter the partnership feeling heard, appreciated, and necessary.

 

2. Ensure Financial Details are Organized

Although no one wants to have the difficult money conversation, they are necessary for a fair and well-developed partnership. Financial details such as employee pay, salaries, bills, and overall business purchases must be discussed before the purchase is completed so both partners have a clear understanding of what exact financial responsibilities they carry.

 

3. Develop a Shared Vision

Entrepreneurs are known for their compelling passion and drive towards growth. But in a business partnership, both parties must have a shared vision, along with shared goals. Before you buy an existing business, sit down and discuss the possibilities that the business contains, and if you both are willing to work towards expansion and growth within the business using the same means. Review the branding, target market, marketing, and mission statement for the business together and revise where necessary.

 

4. Review Your “What-Ifs?”

It is common practice for two business partners to sit down and develop a “what-ifs” list, outlining what measures would be taken if unexpected events occur. Some examples of “what-if’s” include:

  • If one business partner wants to sell their share.
  • An event resulting in one partner being unable to work.
  • What happens if a key employee quits?
  • Who will travel for business if need be?
  • What happens financially if the business is not successful?

 

Once you’ve developed a list of possible occurrences, both partners should discuss the exact plan of action for each possibility and have it officially recorded. Doing so creates a bond of trust between partners, and allows you to enter a solid business relationship for the duration that you’re in business together.

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