The ‘fiscal cliff’ may sound like a tourist destination near Asheville, but in reality it’s a road trip to the fiscal unknown. In this era of economic uncertainty; an end to the temporary payroll tax cuts, changing in the alternative minimum tax (AMT), tax increases resulting from the affordable health care act and other tax consequences affecting small businesses….blah, blah and BLAH! Don’t get me wrong, these are serious situations with potential dire consequences, but I cannot control the insanity in Washington. I can control my own circumstances here and now. Yes, I can.
I’ll hedge my bet!
I looked at opportunities to make my small business as strong as possible to get through the uncertainty mentioned above and the fluctuation in the business cycle. I decided to enter into a partnership, oh yes…the dreaded partnership that most business owners run away from merely the mentioning of the word. I took a leap of faith and yes, for me it was not merely a small step, it was a giant leap. What, share control with someone else on business decisions, how to spend money, how to get the job done and what are the priorities, etc. This is irrational as I am an admitted control freak, one that believes that my decision is….well, the best decision. For me, I realized that I needed to step outside the proverbial box and shake things up. I hedged my bet.
Frankly, I entered into a partnership with someone that was not me. As Webster defines, I hedged toward a countermeasure of protection, a barrier and taking of an offsetting position. I joined businesses with someone that is the antithesis of me. What you say, I’m crazy. No, I say the move is brilliant. I offer to you the argument that a strategic partnership is and can be in the correct circumstances, the new normal.
Small business owners must look at all viable options in these uncertain times. I argue that joining forces with someone that complimented my skills, strengths, purpose & passions will only enhance the feasibility and strength of our joined venture. The complimentary mix of our abilities, talents and personalities is what makes us stand apart from our competition. We are each very strong in our own specialty or discipline, but together we make an incredibly effective team. Two dedicated people working and fighting towards the same goal is certainly better than one. The ole strength in numbers argument wins out here. I now have a partner standing with me to not only make our company stronger, but make each other a better person too. I’m very glad with my decision to take that leap of faith and trust in another human being to have my best interest. This hedge has already paid dividends.
I’ll save a discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of strategic partnerships for another article, but for now I’ll leave you with a final thought. In my humble opinion, this economy is a very long way from stability and small business owners can benefit from alternative structuring and options.
For now, that’s all.