The entrepreneurial marriage
For those of you out of the dating world, do you remember what it was like? Forget about the nightmare dates. Instead, remember all those guys who were “fine.” They were normal looking. They were nice. They had a job. I remember this well. Since my divorce I have been thrown back into the dating fiasco. When friends and family ask me how a date went, the answer is often, “ehh.” It was ok. I can’t say anything is wrong with the guy. I can’t explain why, but we just don’t click. Or I say, “There is no ‘love connection.'”
And what does this have to do with being a mompreneur? I compare choosing my business partners to dating. I “date” potential vendors, graphic artists, web masters, printers, AdWords campaign managers, and so on. Sometimes these are “phone dates.” Sometimes I visit them in their office. And sometimes we meet at a local coffee shop. I realize there are many qualified people in every industry. There are many qualified people that are priced within my budget. What makes me choose to work with one over another? It depends on how we click with each other.
Once I find “the one,” I am ready to commit to a long term relationship.
First and foremost, the potential partner needs to be strong in his or her field and priced within my budget. My evaluation of the company begins with the first contact. Do they return my phone call? Do they contact me too frequently, thus becoming annoying? How do they communicate their value to me? Does it come off as bragging or a used car salesman’s pitch? Or do I see them as an honest person who wants to help me succeed?
Once I have determined that they are qualified and are within my budget, than the “dating” process can move forward. What else do I consider? We need to have the same business philosophy — the same business values. I want to know how they have worked with prior and current clients. It is essential that we are able to communicate efficiently and effectively with each other. Respect for each other’s time is imperative.
We need to respond to each other in a reasonable length of time and we need to allow the other ample time to respond. I need a partner who will actually get tasks accomplished. I need to appreciate them when things are going well and work together to solve issues when there are bumps in the road. Are they available or are they too busy with other clients needs? What do I expect from them and does this match the services they offer and what they expect to accomplish?
Depending on the level of expected commitment (time and cost), and the scope of work for the business partner, the dating process varies in the amount of time until I am willing to make a firm relationship commitment. Once the proposal has been accepted, the contract signed, and the marriage begins, it is always exciting. The newness of the relationship. Just like newlyweds!