This article will discuss the positive and negative aspects of having a partner in a roofing business. This is one of the topics that we discuss in our new series of articles on how to start a roofing business, and how to make it a success.
Should You Get a Partner?
Getting a partner is basically a double-edged sword, and both options have their pros and cons. I did have a partner, when I just started out, and although it was great and helpful in some respects, I now believe that partners are for dancing and I will not have a partner again. I think its different to have a family member as a partner and currently I work together with my brother. This discussion will center around having a partner, who is not a relative.
Pros of Having a Business Partner
- It is easier to run rings when you have someone to rely on, and easier to manage the business.
- Your partner will be excluded from the Worker’s Comp insurance.
- When you go on vacation or need to take some time off, your partner can run things without you, so the business still functions.
- You can run two jobs at one time without depending on generally unreliable workers :).
- Most likely your partner’s skills will be different from your own, so together your skills will be complementary, which will make the business more successful.
Cons of Having a Business Partner:
- You will usually have to split profit two-ways, which will leave you with significantly less money.
- You could get a partner who is “good” and responsible at first, but will turn out to be a complete lazy bum later.
- You may have different visions for your roofing company, which can potentially create issues and disagreements down the road.
- Your partner could be stealing from you, and it is usually really difficult to prove and confront him / her.
- If your partner is a friend, the business will usually ruin your friendship – money has that effect on people.
- You could be arguing about every little thing, or try to micromanage each other all the time, which is really annoying.
- “Back-stabbing” and other sabotaging activities can potentially surface at the worst time for you.
- A partner will bug you to do things you don’t want to do.
Basically, I’ve experienced all of the above (except for the back-stabbing thing), while working with a partner who was a friend (still is, as theft was never proven). As I said above, I will never have a partner again, because even though I was a business owner, I always felt like an employee, and was generally unhappy, while running that business. However the pros of having a business partner were still there, and I could go to Maine, skiing, while he was running the job.
The bottom line, it was not all that horrible, but it was not great either, and as soon as my brother came back from Iraq (he was in the army when I started my first roofing business), I parted ways with my partner, and started working with my brother. Now I have all the PROS of having a business partner, without most of the cons – especially suspicions that he/she is stealing – those along with early wake-up calls were the worst. However, the choice is yours, and when you have very little or no experience, it might be more beneficial to have a partner at first, and then part ways. Overall, looking back, I don’t regret working with a partner when I was just starting out.
Good luck with whatever you decide as far as having a business partner. I hope you will be able to avoid most of the cons of such a partnership, described above.
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