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[HOW TO] Motivating Owners in a Business Partnership

Many small business owners have opted to start their companies with a partner to mitigate some of the risk. You can share responsibilities, problems, and triumphs together. Unfortunately, working with a partner can also mean you run the risk of them making poor decisions, of clashing working styles, or your partner becoming uninterested in your business.

If that latter becomes the case, that does not mean all is lost. At one point in the life of your business your partner was motivated enough to star the business, so all you have to do is find that motivation again!

The first way to refocus your attention and efforts is to reflect back on your mission statement. If you don’t have one, this is the perfect time to write one together! In a few sentences state the reason for your business – why you do what you do. This is your guiding principle and explains why the late nights and hard work are totally worth it.

Once you have a clear mission statement it’s time to revisit or set goals together. Your mission statement is your what and why, but your goals are the how. Make goals for the next 6-9 months, the next year, the next 3 years, and the next 10 years. Accomplishing these goals will give you both something to work towards and if achieved will put your business in a great spot.

Once your goals are on paper, it’s time to assign them. Think about what each of your strengths are and assign based on that. This will not only save time and money, but it will also motivate you both because you’re doing something you’re good at and likely enjoy. There will be goals that don’t excited you, but realize they need to get done and will improve your business.

Lastly, the most important part of any partnership is having the willingness to ask for help when you need it. After all, that’s why you created your partnership in the first place! Your partner will inevitably have skills and strengths you lack so it’s your responsibility as a business owner to leverage those. This will motivate you both – the partner struggling will feel relieved to receive help and the partner with the necessary skills will feel needed.

Running a successful business is non-stop work. If your business operates through a partnership, both partners need to be motivated to see your business succeed. Drive and passion may waiver, but through communication and goal setting the majority of businesses will succeed.

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