In a leap of faith, Katharine Lucić and Katie Lucas decided to start a company in an industry neither had experience in. One life-threatening illness and one marriage later, and the founders of Ohm K have learned how invaluable it is to have a business partner to lean on while building a brand. Katharine and Katie explain:
It’s happened on more than one occasion.
Having the support of another person that not only cares about you but also cares about your fledgling company in a way that no one else could provides a stability that wouldn’t exist otherwise.
In fact, it happens pretty regularly. Something will happen and we’ll turn to each other and say, “I couldn’t do this without you, and I wouldn’t do this without you.” This is what we’ve learned during our first year in business.
While there are many companies that succeed with just one owner, having a business partner has been absolutely essential in our experience. Because of each other, we’ve learned to ask for help (which can be a huge lesson to learn – especially for female business owners), not sweat the small stuff, remembered that life goes on even when things don’t go as planned and we’ve also learned that the celebrations of success are so much more fun with two people.
But there’s so, so much more than that. Below are 5 personality traits to look for and lessons we’ve learned about having a business partner, and why we recommend co-ownership to fellow entrepreneurs:
Having a business partner means learning to trust someone to the core. Sometimes this means learning that your partner knows best and giving up control, sometimes it means following a gut instinct and support the results regardless. We’ve read the books and heard the advice about the dangers of having a partner because of the legal complications that can arise should you eventually decide to part ways, but we have found in partnership one of the deepest friendships and trust-filled relationships of our lives. No complaints.
At Ohm K, compromise is what makes us strong both as partners and as a business. It means that each of us present business decisions that are well thought out before we even bring them up with the other. This makes each step of the process in building our business that much stronger because all of our decisions have been analyzed by each partner and, ultimately, each partner is passionate about the decision.
Within the first six months of starting our company, both founders went through huge life changes. One got married, and one almost lost her life. There’s no way to sugar coat that. And it shouldn’t be sugar coated.
Never was having a business partner more important or more necessary. Having the support of another person that not only cares about you but also cares about your fledgling company in a way that no one else could provides a stability that wouldn’t exist otherwise.
Having a partner to brainstorm with is not only important for the creativity of your company – it’s also just plain fun. As business partners, you both bring different life experiences, communities and talents to the board. Immediately your community doubles simply because there are two of you, as do your contacts and brand reach. By cultivating and encouraging the creativity in each other, your business will not only thrive, but both partners will feel fulfilled on all levels.
Sure, your mom will squeal with you over each and every milestone reached. Your significant other will celebrate with you and your friends will express their pride. But no one understands the small stuff like your partner. The simple pleasure of figuring out and completing those never ending tax forms, the delight of a new design coming together, the joy of connecting with your community – whatever it is, your partner will totally get it and will be there and ready to celebrate all victories with you – even the small ones.