Do I need a business partner?

Agony uncle and University of Westminster's visiting professor of PR Trevor Morris gives it to you straight.

Trevor Morris: PRWeek's agony uncle
Trevor Morris: PRWeek's agony uncle

I want to start a consultancy. I’m inclined to go it alone, but I can’t help noticing that a lot of start-ups involve two or even three or four founding partners. Is a partner really necessary?

Having a partner, at least when you start, is certainly popular: Burson and Marsteller, Hill and Knowlton, Fishburn and Hedges, Bell and Pottinger, Hope and Glory. But popular doesn’t mean necessary.

Running a successful consultancy takes a rare combination of skills: the ability to win new business, generate ideas, read a balance sheet, motivate staff and strategise.  

If you have all these skills, you probably don’t need a partner. But you want to be the boss of bosses. So find strong second-in-commands who complement, rather than compliment, you.

Got a problem? Contact Trevor at agonyuncle@haymarket.com

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