Your business plan has been approved by investors and you received the funding you need. You’ve also found the right premises for your fitness venture and have procured the right equipment. What's next?
When thinking about your business, you need to understand the different roles that need to be filled and that the most important of all is that you are a business owner. If you'd like to be successful on the long run, you should focus your efforts on your strengths, and outsource everything else to experts in the areas you aren't as good. In other words, you should only wear the hats that fit you very well and you like.
One way to do that is to hire professionals and pay them a wage. You can also try to find someone you truly trust that can relate to your vision but has skills in the areas you don't and become partners.
Choosing a partner is a decision that should be taken seriously. It's your business, and ultimately your life at stake. You would want to make sure that you and your partner will be able to get through whatever comes your way. No surprise partnerships are often compared to marriages.
To help you understand whether you actually need a partner and how to decide who to invite in your business, here are 8 top tips to ensure you make the right choice.
1. Pick the Type of Partner
How much your partner will be involved in your fitness business will depend on the partnership agreement you sign at the beginning. Think about the different hats and whether you would like your partner to take one or more of those.
According to PwC's 20th CEO survey in 2017, about 30% of businesses consider working with start-ups to drive profitability, and even more, nearly half of them think that new strategic alliances or joint ventures will take their business further.
If you chose a niche that has already been explored by bigger names, but they don't have presence in your area, it might be worth looking at partnering up with them to gain access to their marketing strategies and follower base in exchange of some of your shares.
2. Friendship vs Partnership
Although the role of friends in business can be important, it is imperative that you ask yourself whether your friend(s) have the same goals, values and beliefs as you do.
If you'd like one of your friends to become your partner in your fitness business, make sure you have a few tough and serious conversations about values, expectations, long-term plans, financial and professional goals within and outside of your business and anything in between.
3. Level of Trust
Your business partner will have unlimited access to business finances, confidential business information, intellectual property and documents.
This is one of the reasons choosing a partner is a tough decision and also why many successful business partners had had a long history before they went into business together.
Before signing an agreement with your future pertner, ask yourself this question: "Do I trust this person with my life if it comes to that?" You know what the answer should be.
4. Trial Period
Whether you are about to get into a partnership with a friend, someone you've known for a while or a person you just met, trying them out under pressure can be a good idea before both of ou commits long-term.
Running a fitness business can be highly stressful, especially in the beginning. Conducting a trial run of the candidate can help you gauge whether or not the person is a right fit for your business. It can also help you uncover their temperaments.
The trial period can be as short or as long you want it, giving it at least 2 weeks might be a good idea to ensure the future partner will be tested in a variety of situations. Be prepared to let them go or for them wanting to go at short notice with no quetions asked.
5. Employed Consultant vs Partner
You definitely need a partner for the long-term but you currently don't know anybody that fits the bill? Why not try to hire a fitness consultant for a temporary period and if they have what it takes you can offer becoming partners at a later date.
This way you can advertise a position for exactly the skill you'd like to have in your partner, test the waters by seeing them on the job and build rapport and trust before offering them that position. You can even try to do it as an apprenticeship to keep your expenses low.
6. Finding Synergy
Your partner should complement your strengths in many fields, not just the ones related to fitness.This way, all your weaknesses will be taken care of. A business partner is your entrepreneurial other half and it is imperative that you find the synergy needed to work effectively and efficiently together.
This synergy isn’t just in skills, talent and experience. This balance should also be there in values, temperaments and the ability to work well under any circumstances.
7. The Business Numbers
Are you in a position where one of the reasons of considering a partner is to bring in more capital to your fitness business? If that's the case and you are interviewing multiple applicants, you should definitely ask yourself two questions:
If you already have the knowledge and the know-how to run the business, then choosing the person with the more finances will help. But, if you are new to the business, then choosing the person with the greater knowledge and experience will be beneficial.
8. Partnership Agreement
Finally, the final aspect of choosing a business partner for your fitness centre is to draft a contract that is mutually beneficial and you both are happy to sign.
When creating the contract, include important terms such as:
The more detailed this agreement is, the more likely you both are clear on expectations and responsibilities and there will be less risk of misundertanding that often can lead to the break of partnerships.
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