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how to find a business partner

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by shmark, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2003
    2,967
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    Mark
    I know I've asked quite a few business questions here, but this is one of the highest concentrations of business-savvy people I've ever seen. I've got several irons in the fire at the moment, trying to find a job but I have no interest in working for someone else long-term.

    I have a couple of ideas with great potential, some resources and a corporation, but I need someone with experience, the type-A personality and drive to really push it, to build it as needed. Someone who's done this sort of thing before with success and wants another challenge. Someone who's willing to make a modest investment (<$10k) for a significant equity position, and do things right. How do I find such a person?

    I'm not trolling this group for a partner, but looking for resources to find such a partner: business or investor groups, bars, where? Thanks.

    Mark
     
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  3. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed BANNED

    Apr 28, 2003
    46,667
    Texas!
    Mark, if I had a nickel for every time that I have said that I'd never again take on a partner, I'd have enough for an Enzo. That is, the best advice about taking on a bidness partner is -- don't. I'll leave it to some others on this board to fill in the blanks as why you want to go solo for as long as you can.

    That said, I'm currently invovled in two, uh, joint ventures as we speak. So, I'm already lying to you.

    Here's a short list of what makes a partnership work.

    1. Opposites attrack. One combo that can work is a money guy and an idea guy. (Note there are a lot more idea guys out there than there are money guys stupid enough to risk their money on bright ideas.) Another good combo is a sales guy and a geek and a money guy. Point is that everybody has to bring something different to the table.

    2. An "Eat What You Kill" partnership agreement. I can't tell you how many times I have seen this story play out. Group walks in to my office all hot to trot. When asked how they plan on splitting the pie, they give me a "Three Musketeers" answer, i.e., "One for all, and All for one." My canned response is that they are Communists. It was Karl Marx who said, "From each according to his ability. To each according to his need." Just like this crap didn't work in Mother Russia, it ain't gonna fly here.

    3. There can be only one "Big Man." At the end of the day, someone will have to make the call as to whether you zig or zag. Usually, the Big Man is the one with the money.

    Hope this helps, and let us know how it goes.

    Dr "I don't need no stinkin partner" Tax
     
  4. PeterS

    PeterS Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jan 24, 2003
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    Mark...Drop me an email at sportcrystals@aol.com with your phone number. I'd like to talk to you about your venture. I don't throw money at you, just good advice from the Type-A that you seek.

    Pete
     
  5. davem

    davem F1 Veteran
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    Jan 21, 2002
    6,246
    Stepford, Connecticut
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    dave m
    Dr Tax is right on.
    Avoid partners at all costs. Sometimes you might choose one cause the oppertunity is too great and you dont have the resources, connections to go it alone. Make an exit plan, kinda like a pre-nup.
    Decide before you even get really going how to fairly distribute the company if one decides to bail out or you sell the company.
    When you start thinking about this it will also force you to solidify all the details that come between A and Z.
     
  6. noahlh

    noahlh Formula 3

    Aug 28, 2003
    2,225
    NYC, NY
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    Noah
    I just need to chime in because I've had a very different experience regarding the so-called "three musketeers" approach.

    I started my first company and one of my current companies with my two closest friends from high school, and we have (and still have) adopted that approach. Doesn't matter how much or what each of us puts is, everything is a three-way split. And we've had nothing but success with it. We've all made a ton of money, we're all content with the relationship, and we wouldn't change it for the world. Sure, there have been times that one has put in more effort here or one has gotten a bigger sale there, but in the end it all works out.

    Furthermore, the nature of our relationship wouldn't have it any other way -- we work so well together because we respect that we each have different talents and that sometimes one of us has to pull more weight than the other. But if the pie was cut unevenly, the lesser-eaters would certainly get bitter over time and then things would just spoil. (sorry for the bad pun).

    I know this is rare, because many more times than not the "friendship first" approach fails miserably, but in at least one case it's been a rousing success.

    Sorry to hijack the thread.
     
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  8. shmark

    shmark F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2003
    2,967
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    Mark
    I should mention that I have been involved in a business partnership for the past two years in a software venture. We had a great first year, showed excellent potential (thought I was close to my first Ferrari), then the bottom fell out the second year and we could no longer support it. Self-funded on a shoestring only goes so far before family matters take priority. We lacked marketing, ruthless business drive and yes, funding to take our product to the next level required.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I know myself. I'm great at big picture, working with customers, solving problems in elegant ways, but not at going out and making business happen. I've never learned the art and I need a rainmaker. Not to mention, I want to learn it! :)

    Mark
     
  9. racedecknc

    racedecknc Karting

    Nov 24, 2003
    198
    Winston Salem
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    Ed
    I'll chime in, add to the "don't do it" side of things.

    Ed
     
  10. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

    Dec 23, 2003
    1,671
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    Al-Al Cool J
    This is THE BEST advice you will ever get, PERIOD !! Take it from someone who has taken it up the tailpipe to the tune of over $160,000 in the last 18 months as a result of a "partnership". Not a TON of money, but it's kept me from buying Ferrari #2 and buying a larger house. PM to discuss.
     
  11. BWS550

    BWS550 Wants to be a mod

    Apr 1, 2002
    8,933
    NEW JERSEY
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    BRUCE WELLINGTON
    A BIG NO NO......DO NOT

    ANYWAY, EVERYONE HAS A SILENT PARTNER..HIS NAME IS " MR I.R.S.
     
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  13. bustedknuckle1

    Feb 4, 2004
    32
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Frank Mummolo
    Partnerships can be difficult....and ultimately expensive. Believe me, I know. There's an old expression, "Partnerships, like love affairs, should have only beginnings". How true.
    I have a lot of experience with startups and new ventures (much more than with Ferraris). If you'd like to chat, email me your contact info.

    Thanks.
     

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