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Partnership Essentials Questionnaire

  • Why are we doing this project together?
  • What do we hope to achieve?
  • What do we want to replicate and what do we want to avoid from past experiences?
  • Where do we see this project in 1 year, 3 years, and 10 years?
  • How do we envision exiting this project, business, or partnership?
  • How do we measure success?
  • What do you expect from each other?
  • What do you like working on?
  • What do you hate working on?
  • Where are the gaps between the two of you?
  • What assets, skills, and resources are we bringing into this partnership?
  • What are your financial expectations from this venture?
  • Is this going to be your entire household income?
  • Will you be working on anything else while we work together?
  • How many hours will we work elsewhere?
  • How much money can you contribute to start-up? Will you contribute more down theroad? How much can you realistically contribute before things start to get scary?
  • Are we contributing equally?
  • What are social/environmental/labor standards that are non-negotiables? Will we outsource overseas if that is the most cost-efficient thing to do?
  • What are our views on “quality of life”
  • What are views on being ethical? Is there a time when you sacrificed your ethics formoney? Would you do it again?
  • Do we have the same approach to work ethic, quality of work, and customer service?
Work/Life Balance
  • Are you inclined to bring work home, or do you consider home-time family time?
  • Am I expected to respond 24/7 to emails, texts, and phone calls?
  • What hours will you work in the office? What works hours do we plan to keep? Do youexpect the other person to keep the same hours?
  • What is your current family situation and what changes are you anticipating? Whathappens if there is a short-term or long-term emergency?
  • Do you consider yourself a stickler for rules, or are you laid back type of person?
  • What if you decide to make a lifestyle change (new baby, ailing parent, etc.)
  • Is there an age or life stage difference between us? How will this affect our relationship
  • Am I okay not having a final say over all or part of business?
  • Are there some parts where I must have a final say? What am I okay giving up controlover?
  • What position will we hold?
  • How do we express disagreement?
  • If things don’t work out can we pursue similar businesses separately, or will we signnon-compete agreements? How would we divvy up clients?
  • What is our preferred method of communication? Email, text, phone?
  • Are we comfortable talking about the big three? Money, Time, and Problems
  • Have you ever yelled at someone? How do you respond to being yelled at?
  • Are we constant communicators, or should we set a weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly,or milestones check-in to review these questions?
  • What haven’t we talked about yet that we should.
Worst Case Scenario?
  • Make a list of the worst things that can go wrong in this partnership?
  • Discuss
Intuition Check
  • What is my gut telling me about this person?
  • Do I respect them?
  • Do I want to work with this person? Do I like them as a human being?
  • Am I recreating any similar relationship from my past?
  • Did these questions eliminate doubts? Illuminate anything? Or make me question thispartnership? Do I still want to go into business together?

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