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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 21 Some of the best partnerships are formed with people you've known for a long time as friends and/or coworkers. FOR MORE LEARNING Catch Allissa and Michael on their weekly podcast, Massage Business Blueprint, available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and more. trying to put their needs in the forefront of your mind. As a partner, it's important to have a serving attitude and a constant goal to lift up your partner while being as supportive as possible. Partnership is kind of like a marriage. You can try to find the right person, or you can be the right person. Both are important, but being the right person is the most important first step. DEFINE THE BASICS OF OPERATION It can also be a good idea to set up a basic operating agreement for your partnership using one of the many online legal services available. For most micro- businesses, like the ones we run, this is usually fine. The operating agreement will help you outline the basic rules of what happens in various scenarios. For example, what happens if one partner decides to exit the business? Can that person sell their portion of ownership? Does the remaining partner get the first right of refusal? Defining basic "what if" scenarios can ease the minds of both parties and offer some structure, should things change. It can also be helpful to create an actual list of tasks involved in running the business and note who will be responsible for certain tasks. This can help to measure and evaluate each partner's workload, so no one feels they're doing more. These lists are dynamic and should evolve and change as the business grows. Having a tangible list to discuss will facilitate open communication and clear expectations. DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE Partnerships are often started when two friends decide it would be fun to open a business together. While this sounds great in theory, there is more to it. Being friends and having fun together doesn't mean you'll make great business partners. If you both hate numbers and finances, you'll end up with neglected accounting. If you both love finances but hate doing marketing, you may have accurate accounting, but you'll never get clients. Some of the best partnerships work because the two partners complement each other in skills, philosophies, and perspectives. You certainly don't want to disagree about everything, but it's healthy to offer different perspectives and bring different skills to the table. That way, the business is served well on the foundation of the combined strengths of the partners. A lot of issues can be avoided by thoroughly thinking through how well you know the other person and being honest about how good a fit there is. Some of the best partnerships are formed with people you've known for a long time as friends and/or coworkers. It's helpful to know how to work with them and how your personalities mesh. Another factor is how seriously you each take the business. If your business is a side hustle or an experimental venture, and you both agree it's not necessarily your primary focus, then you can agree on that and manage your vibe accordingly. If it's a full-time, all-in venture, then you both need to agree on that. FINDING HAPPINESS While partnerships are not for everyone—and can have downsides and risks—they can also be incredibly rewarding if approached thoughtfully and with goodwill. By focusing on being a great partner, finding the right match, and understanding how to work together, you may find that a partnership can bring a lot of joy to your business. Allissa Haines and Michael Reynolds are found at, a member-based community designed to help you attract more clients, make more money, and improve your quality of life.

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