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Entrepreneurs don’t have to be lone wolves. Here are 4 proven tips on how to run your own business with someone else
Entrepreneurs don’t have to be lone wolves.
More than a quarter of PROFIT 500 firms are run by two or more chief executives, most of them co-founders. Nik Grgic and Karl Gannon, the co-founders of FourQuest Energy Inc. (the No. 1 company on the 2014 PROFIT 500ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies), have nothing but good things to say about splitting the top job. Here, they share what it takes to create a harmonious business partnership.
1. Make sure you get along
This may seem like kindergarten-level advice, but many entrepreneurs fail to consider personal compatibility when choosing a business partner—and that can cause problems. Grgic and Gannon had worked together for years before venturing out together, and they knew they got along. “That took away a lot of the risk,” Gannon explains. “I’d be a lot more tentative if we’d just met at a football game.”
2. Play to your strengths
“What’s perfect about our relationship is that we complement each other,” says Gannon. “My strengths are Nik’s weaknesses and vice versa.” While the lines aren’t rigidly drawn, Grgic tends to manage finance and operations, while Gannon handles business development and sales. It’s an efficient use of both time and aptitudes. “Try to find someone who covers the things you’re not good at,” advises Grgic.
3. Leave time to brainstorm
Despite working in different cities (Gannon in Calgary, Grgic in Edmonton), the partners try to see each other at least once a week. They make sure not to cram the agenda. “Sometimes we’ll just sit down and talk, with no specific business issues to discuss,” explains Gannon. “That’s where some of our best ideas come from.”
4. Share the pain
As exhilarating as entrepreneurship can be, it can also be terribly isolating if you’re the only person making decisions (and bearing responsibility for them). “It’d be so hard, especially at the beginning, to do it as one guy,” says Grgic. Gannon elaborates: “The beauty of having someone to share it with is that usually when you’re feeling down, your partner is not,” he says. “There have been times when I thought, Enough is enough—and Nik picked me up. And vice versa.”
Source: Profit Guide
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