Do you want to open a café with a business partner?

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About Cafe Plum London - London Coffee

I meet many business partners who come on my Café Course. Occasionally I am concerned that it may not be a match made in heaven. Choosing a business partner is a huge undertaking. And something I wouldn’t enter into lightly. This is somebody who you will be working closely with, perhaps for the rest of your working life. So making the right choice at this stage is crucial to the success of your café.
One of the more common scenarios I see is two best friends entering into business together. This can indeed be a successful arrangement; you only have to look at childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen or Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard to see how well it can work. However being friends and getting along well isn’t necessarily a good foundation for a successful business partnership. The key factors you are looking for in your partnership is whether you have complimentary skills. The business partners I meet who cause me most alarm are the couples where their skill sets are very similar. For example if you are both creatives neither one of you may want to get to grips with the dryer back office work (HR, payroll spread sheets etc). You may then end up spending your time arguing over whom will do the bits you both enjoy while other areas of the business become neglected. This eventually will lead to resentment and will ultimately affect the success of your café.
Married couples are another common business partnership. Assuming you have complimentary skills then this can be an enjoyable and successful business arrangement. However there is little respite from your café when you are married to your business partner. You will find you talk about the business all the time. However at least your partner knows exactly what stresses you are going through at work.
Opening a café with a business partner can be a rewarding and enjoyable career move. But choose your partner wisely. You will be spending a lot of time and working very closely with this person. But then maybe you will be the next Julian Metcalfe and Sinclair Beechaham.

 

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