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Old 02-03-2013, 04:36 PM #1
todamax369
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Field owners/partners questions

Wondering if anyone can give feedback on their two cents with having partners. I need help with my field but am 50/50 on taking on help (partner). Just wondering how some people have made out. I'm trying to weigh all the pros and cons and don't want to miss anything. .
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:16 PM #2
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don't do it...
don't have a partner...
never have partners.

I'm a big fan of find a way to structure a symbiotic relationship where each is responsible for their own income, thus you can't have the fight of "you are not working hard enough for your half".

for example, let's suppose that you are going to have a field and pro shop. And need the sweat and funds of two people to make this work. Have one own the proshop, and the gear, and the other have the field. Then have an agreement where the field rents equipment from the store, and the store repairs and maintains the equipment for X dollars.

If business is good for the field... it will be good for the store... but it doesn't tie you in a situation where you are fighting... each working hard can make their money.

Other things crop up like, "I don't want to spend money to make that new fort for the field.... I'd rather take the cash.. not reinvest." while the other partner wants to put it back in for future profits. These things are very difficult to have a system where people will agree and not fight.

I'd say don't do partners.. find another way.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:24 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatSplat View Post
don't do it...
don't have a partner...
never have partners.

I'm a big fan of find a way to structure a symbiotic relationship where each is responsible for their own income, thus you can't have the fight of "you are not working hard enough for your half".

for example, let's suppose that you are going to have a field and pro shop. And need the sweat and funds of two people to make this work. Have one own the proshop, and the gear, and the other have the field. Then have an agreement where the field rents equipment from the store, and the store repairs and maintains the equipment for X dollars.

If business is good for the field... it will be good for the store... but it doesn't tie you in a situation where you are fighting... each working hard can make their money.

Other things crop up like, "I don't want to spend money to make that new fort for the field.... I'd rather take the cash.. not reinvest." while the other partner wants to put it back in for future profits. These things are very difficult to have a system where people will agree and not fight.

I'd say don't do partners.. find another way.
Thank you, I was leaning towards no anyways. Just sometimes those offers are enticing. Especially when you need the help. Appreciate the input.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:43 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatSplat View Post
I'd say don't do partners.. find another way.
Absolutely dead on!

I have been selling stuff to small businesses for years and every partner owned store has had big time problems for themselves and many times for their vendors.

Partners rarely know their boundaries or have even taken the time to formally work them out. I have gotten angry calls many times from one partner because the other ordered something from me and "they aren't supposed to order that kind of stuff!" There is one store that I have tried to work with over the years that has SIX partners ... all working in the shop. And they have to order everything by committee. NIGHTMARE! They still ask why I don't come to visit them anymore.

One of the most problematic of partnerships is when you do it with family. I have seen a LOT of husband/wife owned stores that end up in divorce because they just couldn't separate areas of responsibility like Larry noted above. Back when I had my store, my area was wholesale and service and my wife had the rest. Any time I stuck my nose into one of her jobs, I got it smacked like a bad puppy. My choice was to learn my place or get a divorce.

When you go into business with friends, it is the same. Once you step on your friends toes and things start to go south, at least your friend doesn't half your house too!

If you really need a partner, make it the bank. If you need the manpower,
hire as many as you need. That way, you will succeed or fail on your own.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:51 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcontrera View Post
Absolutely dead on!

I have been selling stuff to small businesses for years and every partner owned store has had big time problems for themselves and many times for their vendors.

Partners rarely know their boundaries or have even taken the time to formally work them out. I have gotten angry calls many times from one partner because the other ordered something from me and "they aren't supposed to order that kind of stuff!" There is one store that I have tried to work with over the years that has SIX partners ... all working in the shop. And they have to order everything by committee. NIGHTMARE! They still ask why I don't come to visit them anymore.

One of the most problematic of partnerships is when you do it with family. I have seen a LOT of husband/wife owned stores that end up in divorce because they just couldn't separate areas of responsibility like Larry noted above. Back when I had my store, my area was wholesale and service and my wife had the rest. Any time I stuck my nose into one of her jobs, I got it smacked like a bad puppy. My choice was to learn my place or get a divorce.

When you go into business with friends, it is the same. Once you step on your friends toes and things start to go south, at least your friend doesn't half your house too!

If you really need a partner, make it the bank. If you need the manpower,
hire as many as you need. That way, you will succeed or fail on your own.
Thanks Ray, more good info.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:36 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todamax369 View Post
Wondering if anyone can give feedback on their two cents with having partners. I need help with my field but am 50/50 on taking on help (partner). Just wondering how some people have made out. I'm trying to weigh all the pros and cons and don't want to miss anything. .
I have a partner in my shop, but it's also my father. If he wasn't my father... I wouldn't have one either. If you do decide on taking one on us make sure you have legal documents put together so each side knows what the other is in charge of.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:08 PM #7
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Our field is two partners. We work well together. Same mind set. I am better at certain aspects of business, and he is better at certain aspects of business. Plus it allows us to be able to take some time off once in awhile to go do stuff outside of paintball. I do agree though. It can be very hard most of the time to have a partner. Its essential to have everything setup on who does what, and what is expected from either partner, and it needs to be in writting.

I have had a few businesses, and most of the time it does not work well when having partners. The paintball field is neither of ours main livelyhood, its just something extra. Not sure if that plays any part in it, but its nice to know if I got screwed over, I'm not going broke in life.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:19 PM #8
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I have a partner. He's a great partner, but if I had a choice to do it over again, I would try to do it without a partner.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:53 PM #9
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This is all good info and I appreciate every ones feedback. I'm going to have to really think about the pros and cons here. Thanks again.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:15 AM #10
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I don't think that I would do the partner thing based on all the reasons above, but if you did need to for some reason make sure that you can deal with the person. Even more important is that you maintain a controlling interest in the company never give someone 50% of the company 49% or lower. What is the reasons that you would need to take on a partner ?
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:59 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericl1982 View Post
I don't think that I would do the partner thing based on all the reasons above, but if you did need to for some reason make sure that you can deal with the person. Even more important is that you maintain a controlling interest in the company never give someone 50% of the company 49% or lower. What is the reasons that you would need to take on a partner ?
Well long story short, I took over the lease of a pre existing business that has thrived since 1998. I was a new kid on the block (I'm 24) and didn't have the "know with all" to make the right deal. I saw an enticing price and said where do I sign. So the rest is history. I took over a compressor that hadhad broken down immediately after first use and twice since then. Numerous holes in airball bunkers. The list goes on. I've wasted a lot of my savings "resurrecting" that now the spring is around the corner and the money i planned to have to kick off the season the season is gone. I was told this was "pretty much" turn key. And it has not been at all. But of course i didn't know to get any of that in writing. . .
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:07 PM #12
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Well, the good news is that you're 24, so you've got a lifetime to apply the lessons you're learning now.... might actually turn out to be a pretty inexpensive education when you think about what institutions of higher learning charge for the privilege...

Someone mentioned having the bank as a partner. That's good advice, but the important part of that isn't that the partner is a bank, but the specific relationship with the partner: The bank just wants to get paid back on a certain time table.

So you might be able to find a partner who is willing to put money into your business for a non-controlling stake and certain repayment terms. Just understand that part of that deal is going to be if you don't meet your repayment terms, they get the controlling stake.

That gets you (and the investor) money, but avoids the conflicts of more than one person in charge.

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