The Art of Choosing the Right Business Partner with Matthew Holman and David Bradley
Matthew Holman and David Bradley are co-founders and co-owners of Q Pilot, a SaaS company that specializes in helping businesses transition to a subscription model. David founded the company with a partner from a consulting practice, but they had to part ways due to differences in vision and direction. David and his former partner were able to negotiate an amicable deal, which allowed them to move forward separately.
Matt joined the company later on as a consultant, and it was clear from the start that he was a great fit for the team. He was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and had a strong work ethic. David and Matt began discussing the possibility of Matt joining the company as a co-founder, and after careful consideration, they decided to move forward with the partnership.
Subscription revenue can be a key driver of enterprise value. Subscription revenue is valued much more highly than any kind of episodic project, or even hourly revenue. This means that companies that can create a strong recurring revenue stream through subscription models are in a better position to maximize their exit value when they sell their business. In order to build a strong subscription-based business, however, you must value:
- A deep understanding of your customers' needs and preferences
When deciding to form a partnership with another person, these keys become even more crucial.
LESSONS LEARNED ON BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS
Starting a business is never easy, and one of the biggest challenges that founders face is finding the right business partner. This is especially true for startups where the stakes are high, and the pressure is on them to deliver results quickly.
Finding and building a successful business partnership is no different from any other type of deal we’ve discussed in the past, but it does have its own unique needs to be successful. There are four major components you should focus your due diligence on when looking to build a business partnership:
- Plan Strategically - One of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make is failing to plan strategically for success. It's important to think through ownership percentages, equity, and other important details early on in the process. This can help prevent disagreements down the road and ensure that everyone is on the same page from the start.
- Recognize Different Levels of Experience - Not everyone has the same level of experience when it comes to starting and running a business. It's important to recognize this and help level up your partner's experience so that they can be a valuable contributor to the team. This can include providing mentorship, sharing resources and knowledge, and setting clear expectations for success.
- Have an Adult Conversation - When disagreements arise, it's important to have an adult conversation about the issues at hand. This means putting emotions aside and focusing on finding a solution that works for everyone. It may be helpful to bring in a neutral third party, such as a mediator or consultant, to help facilitate the conversation and find a mutually beneficial resolution.
- Don't Be Afraid to Make Changes - It's not uncommon for business partnerships to change over time. Founders may have different visions or goals, or circumstances may change that requires a shift in direction. It's important to be open to making changes when necessary and to recognize that what worked in the past may not work in the future.
Building a successful business partnership is no easy feat, but with careful planning, clear communication, and a willingness to adapt and change, it is possible. David and Matt's journey provides valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities that come with starting and growing a business, and their experiences can serve as a guide for other entrepreneurs looking to build successful partnerships.
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For my full discussion with Matthew Holman & David Bradley, and more on this and other topics:
Listen to the Full DealQuest Podcast Episode Here
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Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator, and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author, and professional speaker. He is deeply passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.
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