Few of us are blessed with the all round skills to make a success of a business even if we have the right product, service or idea. Therefore, more often than not, there is a need to ‘import’ the skills, this could take the form of employing a person with those skills or taking on a business partner. The former clearly requires capital and the very best tend to come at a price, furthermore, they will often seek significant rewards to take account of the risk associated with a ‘new’ business.
The latter also comes at a cost, however, this can often be in the form of equity and/or a profit share agreement. The benefit here, is that unlike an employee, the ‘partner’ has a vested interest in making the business a success.
Each business opportunity is different and, as a consequence, it is not practicable, nor sensible to try and offer a fixed solution. Some entrepreneurs may require start-up assistance, whilst another may want an active partner that can assist with sales and marketing plans. Yet another may want assistance with raising funds, to strengthen their board with an experienced general manager, assistance with the sale of their business or perhaps a guiding hand.
A business partner may be the answer, a non-executive director or an experienced manager for a specific project. Whatever the solution, it is sometimes better to align the rewards to results, this could be by way of a profit share, results based fee, equity or perhaps, a combination of all three.
Clearly anyone that is going to assist you in your business or venture is going to require some form of reward. More often than not, entpreneurs have to consider hiring consultants, advisors or employeesto assist them in achieving their goals. For a new or embryonic business, this can often be too much, too soon. By recruiting a partner with the necessary knowledge, skills and experience it is possible to align their interests with yours.
Options include an equity stake, result based fee (this would normally be considerable higher than a fixed fee because of the additional risk), a retainer or maybe a share of future profits. I always approach such opportunities on the basis of time, risk and reward.
No matter what stage your business is at, drawing board, launch, development or crossroads, the need for objective advice will never wane, even if it is to simply bounce ideas off. Many very successful companies use a ‘business coach’ or even a ‘life coach’ to support their senior managers. Senior managers truly appreciate the ability to confide in someone that can offer independent advice without judging.
Similarly, a Wise Owl can also offer entrepreneursand senior managers with support, guidance or even practical assistance as and when required. Typically, a Wise Owl will be rewarded on a retainer, profit share or equity basis and every business person or entrepreneur should consider using a Wise Owl, especially if they want the ability to seek advice without the formalities of a business partner.