Questions & Answers

Posted by Andrew Chisholm on 2014-04-21 17:28:15
Title: After months of searching for an investor to help me launch a small newsletter business, I ended up ...
Category: Money

After months of searching for an investor to help me launch a small newsletter business, I ended up finding a business partner who owns and operates a print shop. I entered into partnership talks with him because his side of the business - printing - frees up my time to focus on selling advertisements to my customers and writing content for my readers. However, I feel as if my partner is too bust with his primary business. He does not reply to emails promptly, he does not keep commitments such as promising marketing material. I am giving up 50 per cent of a business I want to build, but I feel the division of labour is not in my favour. How do I approach this situation? I don't have the capital to launch this business on my own.


Kelsey Ramsden
2014-05-01 16:12:20

It sounds like you need him more than he needs you. This is a good case of imbalance of needs and wants and an even better showcase of what happens when two parties have not clarified expectations very clearly.

If you have expectations on how he/she treats you and the business, these have to be clearly communicated now. Think of all partnership relationships like pre-nup agreements. I always say, fight with me now while we want to do business together, don't try to fight me when I am angry.

I would suggest a candid open conversation about the drivers for the investment and business to begin with. Then lay out clear expectations on all fronts from performance to communication frequency to financial expectations both ways. Finally, equity is the most expensive investment you can sell. If you can afford to print and make less, in the long run it will be cheaper than giving up 50% of your business.

Kelsey Ramsden,

Joanna Wiseberg
2014-05-02 17:56:21
Followup question:
Did you sign an agreement? I agree with Kelsey. Have a conversation with this person and I suggest cutting him loose. Sounds like he doesn't care or doesn't have the time which will be dangerous for you. How long have you known this person?