Business Partnerships – Getting Into Bed With a New Business Partner

Finding the right person to help build your business idea into a successful company is harder than you may at first suppose. Many of us decide to take on a business partner for a variety of reasons; most of which seem valid and justified at the time – even crucial to the successful birth and growth of the business. Few of us have the foresight to pause and consider the long-term implications of our decisions and choices – until it is too late.

What is an Ideal Business Partner?

An ideal business partner must not only share your vision and enthusiasm for the new venture, but should also add expertise in the areas in which you lack business skill or experience. An ideal business partner should be someone who understands the legal and financial responsibilities that come with sharing a business. But most importantly, an ideal business partner must be someone with whom you get along; someone who understands and shares your vision; someone who is on your ‘wavelength’ when it comes to making crucial business decisions in the future.

The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you really need a business partner? If the answer is a resounding yes, then consider the following carefully: by taking on a partner you are in fact inviting a complete stranger into your life and entrusting them to share the closest details of your finances and your trust. You are handing over the keys to your business to that person. You are entering into a legal and binding agreement that holds far reaching consequences for yourself, your business and your life.

Before you invite someone to join you as a partner, consider these questions:

o Do you like this person?
o Do you have the same vision when it comes to business ideas?
o Can you trust this person – is this person ethical, moral and honest?
o Is this person essential to the success of your business – is this person qualified to assist you?
o What skills, financial backing or other contributions will this person bring to the table?
o Can you envision a long-term relationship with this person – will you still get on in six months or six years from now?

Before entering into a partnership, consider the advantages and disadvantages:

The obvious advantages of a business partnership are that, ideally, you will have someone to share the financial burden as well as the workload. You will also have the input of a fresh perspective on ideas, a sounding board to bounce new concepts off, and support when the going gets tough.
The main disadvantage of having a partner is that you can be held personally liable for your partner’s negligence or bad business decisions. This means that if your partnership is unable to meet its financial obligations, you may have to use your personal assets to pay off debts, even though you, personally, may not be at fault. If the partnership defaults on a loan, for example, the bank has the right to collect the debt from both partners. Another disadvantage of a partnership is that if one partner decides to leave the business, then the business may suffer, or even end.

A partnership is like a marriage in many important ways, requiring a high level of trust; and, as in marriages, divorce is common. Here are some tips on what to look out for in a choosing a suitable business partner:

o Observe the behaviour of your potential partner; research their business history, particularly regarding a trail of litigation, financial problems or fallouts with previous partners.
o Ask yourself whether you are compatible in temperament. Do you see ‘eye-to-eye’ on most issues? Do you have a similar business vision for your new company, or do you have radically different ideas on how things should be done?
o A potential partner should bring something of substantial value to the table – for example financial backing, special skills, or industry connections. Choose someone who complements, rather than duplicates, your own skills.
o Never underestimate the importance of actually liking your partner. Remember, it’s likely that, in future, you will be spending more time with your business partner than with your spouse or significant other.

Can A Franchise Finance Business Loan Be Creative? Here’s How Canadian Franchise Finance Works!

Is it actually possible to get ‘ creative ‘ when considering a franchise finance business loan for you new Canadian role as an entrepreneur in franchise financing? There are some tried and trusted rules we use in the franchise lending area, but a little creativity has never hurt anyone we believe!

If you haven’t considered how to finance your new business in the franchise industry then we feel it’s probably a little too late in some ways, as your ability to finance your business properly we think has a lot to do with the ultimate growth and success of your business. There are very focused lending sources for the franchise area of financing in Canada – the trick of course is to know what they are and more importantly how you can navigate the ‘ maze ‘ successfully.

The reality is that if you have some industry experience in your new business and a proper finance plan you have a much better chance of financing your business properly.

So, who can you turn to in terms of creativity and resources for franchise financing? Clients are amazed when we tell them the most creative partner in franchise financing in Canada is none other than the Canadian government!How could that possibly be? Simply because a program guaranteed by the government and administered by the banks could not be any more creative than this.

The program is the ‘BIL’ loan program, and it provides you with financing up to 350k for your new business. Are the terms onerous? Hardly! The essence of the program is a 5-7 year term loan, with great rates, limited personal guarantees, and some other elements of flexibility. If that isn’t creative then we don’t know what is!

Naturally all the creativity in a business loan of that type for your franchise finance scenario should not be reliant on just one lender – the other lender is someone you know very well. Yourself. That’s simply because when you look at the total financing of a franchise in Canada the two components are simply debt (the funds you have borrowed) and the equity, or money you have put in yourself. These equity funds, i.e. your commitment to the business, typical come from savings, the proverbial ‘ friends and family ‘ support, and investments or collateral that you have available.

Getting back to our key subject of creativity, our above noted BIL loan program only covers certain aspects of a franchise finance scenario. You can augment that loan with flexible equipment financing that has low down payments and extended amortization terms, as well as, in some cases, a working capital term loan.

We never forget to remind clients that the franchise financing plan is a two stage process, acquiring the business, and making sure they have some capital and funding to operate and grow their new business.

In summary, you can be creative when you are looking for info on how Canadian franchise finance works. You need knowledge on what funding sources are available that are specialized to the franchise industry, and assistance in executing a proper financial plan. Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can assist you in maximizing that creativity!

Finding the Right Business Partner

One of the major challenges facing entrepreneurs and business leaders is finding the right business partners. Great care should be exercised when selecting associates because the right choice can bridge gaps and assist in the execution of your business plan. The wrong choice can harm the reputation and earnings of your company. One should consider the following
when forming strategic alliances:

Find Believers in Your Mission

No one will champion your cause like a true believer in your vision, products, and services. Align yourself with those who comprehend the magnitude of what you are doing and will offer wholehearted support to your endeavors. Those who align themselves with you solely for monetary gain will often carry a short-term perspective that will conflict with your long-term business strategy.

Active Partner vs. Passive Partner

Another consideration is: Are you looking for an active or passive interest holder in your business? Do you seek someone who will be involved in the day-to-day management of the company? Many entrepreneurs opt for passive partners to avoid having them encroach on the management of the business. If you elect active partners, it is important that they share
the same vision, objectives, and ethics as your associates.

Smart Money vs. Silent Money

When pursuing financial partnerships, you have several options. You can choose investors that will solely provide financing, or you can partner with funding sources that will also offer guidance and help in strategic planning. Silent monëy could be the right choice if you have a seasoned management team and desire total creative control. However, if in both cases you will surrender the same amount of equity, it makes more sense to
partner with investors who are well connected and may also offer advisory services.

Complementary Skill Set

Your ideal operations partner will have a complementary skill set. They will strengthen your areas of weakness and allow you to compete effectively. Their affiliation will most importantly shorten, or eliminate altogether, the development time necessary in particular areas. Your resources will not have to be spent acquiring expertise in areas where your partner is already adept.

Alliances

Your ideal partner should also be in a position to help you förm strategic partnerships. This person/organization ought to be able to help you align yourself with people who can assist in growing your business. Strategic partnerships can also bring about needed political affiliations.

Growth and Exit Strategy

A major point of contention for many partners is the company’s growth and exit strategy. Some parties may be content as the owners of a small business, while others seek to franchise or even go public. All parties should be in agreement on how they plan to access the equity of the company, rather it be by salary and dividends, or a substantial liquidity event.

The right partner can ease the road and multiply the profïts of your business. Whether you’re looking for investment funds, advice, a complementary skill set, or helpful associations, choose this relationship wisely.

The Best Car Insurance Rates

If your car insurance is due for renewal and you are considering buying another policy then this article will provide you with important facts that you should know about. Car insurance policies are getting increasingly expensive and you should do all that you can to reduce your costs. How much you have to pay for your car insurance is dictated by a variety of factors as they apply to you and your vehicle.

In this article we will examine coverage limits, your age, gender and marital status, your location and insuring other household members. All of these factors will have a great influence on how much you will have to pay for your policy.

Coverage limits are generally dictated by the price that you are willing to pay for your insurance. A higher level of coverage will generally result in higher premiums. The best way to find a good value policy is to comparison shop. Nowadays it is generally accepted that the best way to do this is by using a car insurance comparison website.

Your age, gender and marital status will have a great effect on the auto insurance rates that you are offered. Insurers rate drivers using a variety of criteria, if you are a young single male driver you will usually have to pay higher rates. If you are a middle-aged female married driver then your rates will be lower. Insurers calculate the best car insurance rates for you by comparing levels of risk. Those groups which are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident have to pay correspondingly higher rates.

Location plays an important part in deciding how much your premiums will cost. Drivers who live in an urban environment will usually pay more than those from a rural area. This is because drivers who live in cities and heavily populated areas are more likely to be involved in an accident, or to have their car stolen or vandalized. Insurers generally offer better rates if you’re able to demonstrate that you keep your vehicle in a garage at night. You may also be able to improve the security arrangements of your automobile by fitting an alarm, immobilizer and steering wheel lock.

Insuring other household members will have an influence on the cost of your policy and the best car insurance rates that you offered. If you have teenage family members living with you and they are added to your policy, then your costs will increase. This may still work out cheaper than if your teenage driver were to have a separate policy in their own name.

In conclusion, there are a variety of different factors which can affect your ability to be offered the best insurance rates. Some of these are coverage limits, how old you are, whether you are male or female and whether you are married or single. Your rates will also be affected by the area where you live and whether other household members are included in your policy.