Running a business on your own can be hard and lonely. When my inbox is overflowing and I’m fully booked? I sometimes think about having a business partner to shoulder some of the load.
But ultimately, I decided that taking on a partner and turning my solo writing business into an agency wasn’t right for me. If you’re thinking about entering into a business partnership but don’t know what the best move for your company is, here are some questions to ask yourself.
Do You Have Enough Revenue?
The income you earn from your business might be great for one person, but is it enough to support two people?
Even if you think your business partner is going to provide lots of value and bring in new business, it will probably take them a few weeks or months to ramp up. So ideally, you should be earning enough revenue to properly compensate two people before you think about bringing someone else on.
I don’t think my business is at this point yet, which is why I’ve decided not to look for a business partner.
Are You Willing To Give Up Some Control?
I became a freelancer because I wanted more control over my work life. I wanted to choose when I worked and what projects I took on to ensure they aligned with my passions and interests.
If you value the freedom and autonomy of being a solopreneur, you might find it hard to share your business with an equal partner. Are you ready to run all of your decisions by them and compromise if you disagree on what needs to be done? Some feel that is an unwelcome change since you’re used to being the CEO and managing your business by yourself.
I realized that I would resent having to answer to a business partner. But if making all of the decisions in your business stresses you out, it might be nice to have a partner to share the responsibility with.
Could Subcontractors Fill the Gaps Instead?
If you’re independent like me and don’t want to give up control of your business, you might consider hiring subcontractors instead. Many of the things that a business partner helps you with? One option is to outsource to freelancers.
Say you need assistance with outreach and cold emailing—a virtual assistant can do that. If you’re looking for strategic planning and business advice, you can book a few sessions with a consultant. If you just need help with client work so you can take on additional projects and grow your business, you can outsource assignments to subcontractors.
Outsourcing allows you to take some of the work off your plate and scale your company without handing over the reins of your business to someone else. You may also get to keep more of the revenue your business is generating.
A business partner would probably want to split the profits with you evenly. But a subcontractor might only charge you $20 or $25 an hour, enabling you to advance your business and take on more work without giving up a big share of your revenue.
Although having a business partner might enable me to scale my freelance writing business into a content marketing agency, I’ve decided to hold off for now. I value the freedom of being my own boss and would have trouble giving up control over my company.
But for some business owners, partnering up with a trusted colleague is the best move. Bringing on someone else with skills that complement your own could help you grow your company without running yourself ragged.
Just make sure that the person you pick shares your vision for your company and has a personality that meshes well with yours so you don’t butt heads.