Springtime is a natural time for renewal and new opportunities. If you run a business partnership, it’s a great time to step back and reassess your relationship, business processes, and introduce efficiencies into your business. Here are six tips for doing just that.
Revisit Your Business Partnership Profit Share Agreement
Let’s face it, business dynamics change. If your partnership has evolved over the past year or is likely to change in the coming year, it’s important that you revisit your partnership or profit-sharing agreement to reflect these subtleties. If you need to change your agreement drastically, consider bringing the services of your lawyer or accountant to make sure everything is correctly documented. Read more about splitting profits in a business partnership.
Review Your Goals
Goals can quickly get dusty if they aren’t revisited often. Expectations between partners can change. Are your goals still in alignment? Do you both still want the same things from your business? Are your measurements of success still the same? Do you need to change your tactics to achieve your goals?
Springtime is also a period for planning ahead, so check in with you partner on these important considerations.
Evaluate One Another’s Performance
This one isn’t as awkward as it sounds. If you’re to have a healthy business partnership, communication is key and confrontation shouldn’t be feared. Just as in a marriage, it shows that you are both invested in the business. If you can’t give your partner honest feedback, how can you make the partnership work?
To make this process easier, set and agree to goals for yourselves and the business each year or every six months. Then spend some time together reviewing progress and performance against those goals. Incorporate a self-assessment into the process—this will make it easier for each partner to analyze their own performance. If either of you feels that improvement is needed, try to be honest and discuss your options for making this happen. Remember, the goal here is to emphasize the opportunity that improvement can bring, not to dwell on the negative. Read more about how to avoid friction in a business partnership.
Automate Your Infrastructure
Are there any processes or functions that could do with a spring clean or a full-on rip and replace? How are your accounting processes? Are your books up-to-date? Can you trim your expense accounts in any way? Cloud-based accounting tools can take a lot of the heavy lifting out of managing your finances and getting to grips with processes that can bog you down, such as time management, invoice generation and tracking, cash flow monitoring, and so on. Read more about the benefits of online accounting software.
Other things to consider: revisit your IT agreements, phone service contracts, and business systems. Are you getting the best service and value? Would cloud tools help you be more productive? Check out our tips for getting more out of small business technology.
Refresh Your Banking Services
How is your relationship with your bank? Are you aware of all the tools and services they offer to make your business more efficient beyond banking? Everything from payroll services, syncing and integration with your accounting software, paperless banking, online invoice generation and tracking, P.O. Box checking for faster deposits, and more. Check in with your bank and see how they can help you focus on growth, and less on time-consuming accounting tasks.
Now we’re back to basics. It’s time to declutter your office or premises. Make sure all paperwork is properly filed. Purge any assets that aren’t needed any more, such as out-of-date marketing collateral, supplier catalogs, etc. Donate old furniture to charity. There’s always room for a clear-out!
Now you’ve got the tough stuff out of the way, take time to compliment each other, celebrate your successes, cherish your partnership, cheer on and empower your staff, and don’t forget that you are on the same team.