The Partnership Charter
How to Start Out Right With Your New Business Partnership
David Gage brings his experience as a Psychologist, Professor, and 30 years of experience as a Business Mediator to bear in The Partnership Charter to help business partnerships avoid ever needing his professional services. A bold move for sure. Unfortunately, there are so many messed up partnership arrangements that putting his best advice in a book hardly puts a dent in his population of prospective clients. Most people don’t take this stuff seriously. Most people rush into business structures with all the excitement of launching and revenue and growth. Who has time for all that paperwork? Who wants to have those tough conversations? “We’ll just figure that out down the road when we get there.” Right?
Well, read this book and you’ll look at things differently for sure. David provides gut-wrenching stories of real-life scenarios that tore apart friendships, marriages, and whole families – let alone the businesses that imploded. Tragedies that could have been avoided had the business partners put just a little time into defining some boundaries and setting expectations. The best part is that unless you’re already in the middle of a catastrophe – it’s not too late.
In The Partnership Charter, David walks through a loose, but comprehensive framework of topics that business partners should address BEFORE going into business together.
· Partner roles & responsibilities, decision-making authority, salaries, benefits…
· Investing capital, taking profits, partner compensation…
· Partner health issues, untimely death…
· Spousal claims to business equity, divorce…
· Personal lawsuits, criminal prosecutions, bankruptcy…
· Taking on new partners, or individual partners exiting the business…
All businesses are different, so the content will be different. The pervasive message though is to talk about a potential partner problem when it isn’t already a problem and agree how you’d approach a resolution. Have these conversations when they’re easier to have, rather than in the midst of stress and heightened emotions, and write them down. Catalog all of these conversations. While it’s even better to have this codified by a lawyer at some point, just getting the agreements in writing is 90% of the work and value.
This is a must-read for anyone seriously considering a business partnership, or who finds themselves already in one without such a set of agreements in writing. What if taking the time out to do that would be too disruptive to your business? Well… how disruptive would it be if any one of those problems happened?
Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash
Book image reproduced under provision 17 USC 113(c)
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