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Going into Ecommerce with a partner

What one should think about if one should even do it, and how.

     
10:45 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hello,

a while ago a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to start an Ecommerce site with her as a partner. I have experience since I'm currently running one but I have never done anything with a partner before.

I'm very divided since she wants to sell stuff that I'm not really into that much. What should you think about when going into business with a partner? Have any of you done so? What are your experiences?

Regards

11:05 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm very divided since she wants to sell stuff that I'm not really into that much

Your first priority in a successful store should not be "what you are into", but what will sell.

11:07 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Your first priority for me would be to know why your friend wants to partner with you. Often less techies want to partner with techies because they are afraid. Will this partnership really offer you seomething or will you just be doing all the grunt work for someone who wants a quick short cut?
11:28 pm on Dec 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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See what she is bringing to the table that you do not already have or can easily acquire/rent

Cash
Technical expertise
Marketing ability etc etc

If you cannot think of a critical reason why she is there then don't bother.Partners are generally a pain in the butt!

MM

3:50 am on Dec 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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the first piece of paper needs to be your divorce agreement. Business partnerships are like amrriages without love or sex to keep them together. I made a divorce agreement with my partners before I made a partnership agreement, and I can tell you that it has been useful. We are still partners, but when there has been rocky times it has been nice to know how it will all unravel. I learned this from a friend who had HIS partnership unravel - and still talks to his former partner weekly.
6:53 am on Dec 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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very risky and the odds are very high that it will end in a bad way. If you decide to go the partner road, make sure to have legal paperwork in place before hand just in case things take a turn for the worst.

It will start off all fun and games and then one partner will feel like they are doing all the work and not making enough of the profit.

3:49 pm on Dec 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Dont do it, had a busines once with two other friends as partners.

I wouldnt push my ideas as I didnt want to put their noses out of joint etc etc One of them turned out to be a right lazy so and so, Id known him for around 8 years previously and had not seen this side of his personalty.

Dont do it.

11:55 pm on Dec 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Never, never, never.

Want to lose your friend? And a lot of money at the same time. You've picked the quickest and surest way to do it.

12:32 am on Dec 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Never, never, never.

Want to lose your friend? And a lot of money at the same time. You've picked the quickest and surest way to do it.

Exactly what hapened to me..Lesson learned. Keep friends and business apart.

1:26 pm on Dec 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Rather than partnering her, could she could 'hire' you to set up the website and design it etc, and charge her a competitive rate?

I personally would not like to go into business with a close friend for the reasons pointed out here, especially Essex_Boy's. I would like to be my own boss, and have the final say in all decisions.

4:23 pm on Dec 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Rather than partnering her, could she could 'hire' you to set up the website and design it etc, and charge her a competitive rate?

I think I will go with your suggestion. Thanks for all the replies really was an eye opener.

10:41 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If you think it is going to do ok then you could offer to setup the shop and then remain a silent partner or just do development/maintenance work to further sales.
11:41 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Partnership could be tricky and often are... whats worse than going into a partnership with a friend is probably going it into with a family. Actually they are both bad.

However, one person cannot acheive greatness alone. You are either really lucky to find a partner that has the same skill, ambition, vision as you like the google guys, or .. not.

So clear paper writting is important.

Best way is that one person provide cash, another provide the labor/skill. Even that could go wrong :)

2:12 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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amazingly, I became a partner yesterday with a friend.

after reading these posts i dont know if i should be happy or sad. :)

its a bit different for us, i had online skills to manage the ecommerce website for products that i dont know anything about and he would do the sales and logistics for produts that he has been selling offline for years.

not sure if it will work for us or not, but its better to have tried and lost than not tried at all.

2:18 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Best advice is never to work with or for friends. Don't let her hire you!
4:04 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Your first priority in a successful store should not be "what you are into", but what will sell.

I disagree with this. If you don't enjoy it, I promise you in 2-3 years it will be torture, even if the money is good.

I went into business with a partner and things have gone well. I am the exception, though. Partnerships are tough if both are responsible for the same cookies in the jar.

Have a definitive Seperation of Duties. I do my job and my partner does his. We typically don't step into each other's area of expertise when decisions are being made.

4:13 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i had online skills to manage the ecommerce website for products that i dont know anything about and he would do the sales and logistics for produts that he has been selling offline for years.

I've been working very succesfully in a similar arrangment for years, and its been a very positive experience. Depends on your friends I suppose...

3:19 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've had some success working with a business partner. Basically I bought the ecommerce website that markets a direct sales business system. The partner then pays commission on every sale through my site.

Anybody can buy the website and start their own ecommerce site. It's the best way to get into ecommerce because the other party takes care of manufacturing the product, shipping it, and collecting the money from the customer. I let the site run itself.

It helps that my partner is a NYSE-listed corporate with over US$ 1 billion annual sales. And that they have a strong brand. But like I say, anybody can buy an ecommerce site, so long as they can bring the traffic to it.