Is Now a Good Time to Create a Partnership for Your Contracting Business?

If your goal has always been to become an independent contractor, the independent part might be one of the most appealing aspects. You get to set your own hours and run your business in your own way. In an economic downturn where the whole industry has been turned on its head, you may need to collaborate. Here are five factors that can help you decide if forming a partnership would be a better path forward.

Related Fields
In order to form a partnership, you need to have someone whose skills and services relate closely to yours. If you’re finding that there are too many contractors and not enough jobs in your own field, you may want to find someone whose services and products are in an adjacent field. For example, if you find that you’re hiring the same subcontractor every single time you have a project, this might be an indicator that you have two businesses that could work well together. Be wary of duplicating your own skills, though. Unless you have more work than you can handle, doubling the paycheck obligations may not be enough.

Working Relationships
As a general rule, business partners get together as a result of a long-term professional relationship or other type of relationship. This means that you have to have somebody in mind before you can form a partnership. Advertising that you’re looking for a partner may take a lot longer, and it would be harder to tell if the people who are interested would make a good candidate to partner in your business. Think about the people that you have a good working relationship with, who aren’t employees. If you don’t know of anyone who meets this requirement, it might be time to beef up your networking skills.

Financial Stability
In the middle of an economic downturn, no one may truly believe that they are financially stable. But the last thing that you want when you start a partnership is for one person to be on great financial footing while the other is inches from disaster. This kind of imbalance can create a lot of conflict in the partnership, that may ultimately cause it to fail. Make sure that you are forming a partnership so that you can both help each other, instead of one person providing financial support to keep the other one going. A slight imbalance is manageable. But unless you have so much work and stable funding guarantees, you’re probably going to struggle to support two on the money that used to support one.

Balance of Skills and Services
Similarly, you want to confirm that both professionals have at least a moderate wealth of skills and services that they can provide. This depends greatly on the field you’re working in, and the nature of the industry at large. But typically, you both should have a variety of advantages that you can bring to the table. Don’t forget soft skills and other needs for business administration like sales and marketing. Ensuring that you can split tasks in a way that feels even to both of you will help to guarantee that everyone remains satisfied with the partnership going forward.

Ultimately, not everyone is cut out to be in a partnership. Sometimes, you can end up in a partnership with someone that is simply unsuited to work with you or vice versa. In other cases, you are just better off working by yourself. Think about the way you collaborate. If you can set aside your individual ambitions and work together to reach a consensus almost all of the time, then you will have a much higher chance of a successful partnership. By comparison, if you have a difficult time conceding the point to others, that may be a sign that you will have a lot of conflict in a partnership.

Forming a partnership is one way to run a contracting business, but you need to be sure you can do it right. To start on your career path in construction, contact CSLS today!