There is a “Team” in “I:” Even Entrepreneurs Need Partnerships to Succeed

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It’s in the nature of the entrepreneur to want to go “it” alone.  You, the entrepreneur, have the Big Idea, and you know how you want to execute it.  Don’t be too hasty, however, to dismiss the teamwork of some very valuable players in the world you’re going to need in order to be successful.

You’ve likely read numerous reports that state success rates of startups with and without founders.  The founder partnership is certainly a key to success.  In fact, startups with more than one founder are 59% more likely to succeed than those with founders who go it alone.

Yet having a co-founder isn’t the only partnership you need to start and grow a successful business.  There are a host of others, some of which can be fulfilled by the same person, that will make your business a successful one.

The Experts

Before you even get started, you need two very important outside experts for your business: a lawyer and an accountant.  Why?  No business, large or small, should start without all the legal framework in place or without all the financial systems ready to go.

A lawyer will be a necessity especially if you are going into business with a co-founder.  While your co-founder will help your business succeed, this partnership could also result in legal headaches if things like a buy-sell agreement aren’t created at the beginning.

You may be a bookkeeping whiz, but that doesn’t mean you should be in charge of your newly-minted business’s accounts. Accountants help businesses with more than just taxes and record keeping.  They provide can provide auditing services and protection, and they should be hired after thorough research.

The Business Support

You and your co-founder have launched your product or service, and you’ve generated quite a bit of revenue, but it’s time to move beyond the startup funding you’ve successfully raised through all that cold emailing and networking.  How do you do that without stretching yourselves too thin?

It’s time to look into creating a sales partnership of some kind.  If that means expanding the business a little more to hire your first employee, that’s great.  That just means more growth.  If you’re not there yet, you can always outsource.  Be wary, however, of outsourcing too much of your customer sales, as business growth is all about relationships.  You don’t want too much disconnect between your business and your customers.

Another partnership to cultivate when growing a business is a mentorship.  Mentors can come in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing they all provide is empathy.  You will be confronted with hurdles running your business, and you will need help overcoming them.  Even if your mentor doesn’t operate within your niche, she can provide both empathy with your hurdle and likely a creative way to jump it.

Mentors are business sounding boards.  Using your business network to find a mentor is a great way to find someone who will provide you with great entrepreneurial guidance.

The Personal Support

At the end of the workday, don’t forget that you need partnerships outside the business for your business to survive.  Why?  Your own mental health has a lot to do with the health of your business.  If the members of an organization aren’t happy and healthy, the organization isn’t going to succeed, no matter how small it is.

Look to your friends and family members to build your personal support network outside the business.  Make sure they help you “shut off” from the business.  Even if you’re working without a co-founder, it’s necessary to step away more than an hour or two in order to stay sane.  Friends and family can hold you accountable for personal time.

All these expert and support partnerships can provide the scaffolding you and your business need to survive and thrive.

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Hattie is a writer and researcher living in Boise, Idaho. She has a varied background, including education and sports journalism. She is a former electronic content manager and analyst for a government agency. She recently completed her MBA and enjoys local ciders.