Partnerships are never 50:50

Perhaps you have, are, or will be in a partnership type business with a friend, family member, or someone else.  You may set the business up as a partnership where each you and your partner own 50% of the business.  Although the partnership is 50:50, it is highly unlikely that each partner will do 50% of the work.  You may actually see efforts closer to 60:40, 75:25, or maybe even 90:10.  There are several strategies you can work with to help balance the workload between each partner, but we must remember it will most likely never be 50:50.  We need to manage our expectations.

First of all, if you and your partner are taking on different roles, you may want to think about swapping roles now and then if possible.  This may help shift workloads between you and your partner.  This may not be possible if you and your partner have different expertise.  For example, if you are more technical and your partner is more business, you may not be able to jump into the business side as readily or your partner may not be able to jump into the technical side as readily.  This is very possible and why you chose to work with your partner.  Having different skillsets is a very nice thing to help diversify your business.

Secondly, take a look at how much time each of you are putting into the business.  Make sure you and your partner are putting in equivalent time and effort.  Effort may be a little more tricky to define, but time is very measurable.  If you are only putting in 8 hours per day while your partner is putting in 12 hours, there is a problem.  This should be discussed to understand why you are not putting in the same amount of time as your partner.

Although effort is not always measurable, we can measure results.  At the end of the day, what is getting done?  If you or your partner are not hitting your goals, then this should also be discussed.  At the end of the day your goals need to be agreed upon by all stakeholders.  If your goals are agreed upon and you are hitting your goals, then there should be no problem.

Previously, I have been in business partnerships where not all partners were providing equal efforts, time, and results.  It can be disappointing and make you want to give up.  The worst thing you can do is give up.  You also do not want to push too hard and burn yourself out.  You will want to communicate your thoughts and feelings to your partner(s).  Let them understand your concerns and gain alignment on your plan(s) moving forward.  Manage your expectations, their expectations, and drive your business to success!

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