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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am almost ready to start my business which will be predominantly online but also selling products to local consumers as well. i just found out yesterday that there is another girl in town that has the exact same idea and is about to start as well. she has lived in the area longer and is already involved in many of the attachment parenting circles. i have talked to her briefly on the phone and will be meeting with her next week in person. she seems very nice and we are considering working together somehow to sell the products in this area. i am excited because i she has some great ideas and great contacts, however i am also a little concerned since i like making my own decisions about the business and i don't need the financial backing. also, i don't want there to be any hard feelings (or worse) if one of us doesn't work as hard as the other. in some ways i would like to stay on my own, but i'm very worried since she already has a lot of good contacts. what do you all think? is there a way to work together with her without going full on partners? btw, we will be selling many of the same products, although not all.
 

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This is a really tough question to answer.<br><br>
Personally, I would avoid a partner like the plague. Statistically, partnerships fail more often than any other type of business.<br><br>
Also, partners are legally responsible for the other person's mishaps. If someone goes after your partner for a business related problem you are liable as well.<br><br>
One of my friend's dads was in a partnership and found out that his partner cheated (overbilled) his clients a total of 1 million dollars. The partner was sued, but declared bankruptcy. My friend's dad did not want a bankruptcy on his record becuase it would mean giving up his house and many of his possessions, so he himself personally had to pay back the 1 million dollars he didn't even steal! Took him 20 years!<br><br>
The fact taht you don't know this woman well.... I'd have to say steer very clear of a legal partnership.<br><br>
If you do decide to partner with her, please see a lawyer and have them draw up your contract. Do not go into partnership with her without a contract or you will regret it most likely.
 

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I agree. Part of the attraction of going into business for yourself is that you get to call the shots and determine the scope of the business. The legal/financial issues sound like a huge, expensive mess.<br><br>
Maybe you can figure out a way to make your business unique from hers by offering a service in addition to products, offering a wider range of products or a narrower and more specialized range, focusing more on the online side of things where local contacts wouldn't be as important, etc.
 

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I wouldn't do it. It's too risky. I agree with the above poster, you should find something that makes your company unique and that would make people choose you over her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i love getting feedback from all of you. it helps me sort through my thoughts better. my biggest concern is that many moms in the AP circles (in my town) already know and like her and of course will buy from her even if i sell the same product at a reduced rate. i know there are at least a few product lines that we both want to sell that are exactly the same. is there any way to work around this?
 

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I've read that if you are in a business where you are reselling items that pretty much anyone can resell, that competition can be fierce. You're dividing the market.<br><br>
You can have a price war, but in the end, no one wins.<br><br>
What I've read seems to indicate that if this is your situation you should not compete on price, but on other things such as customer service, high quality, ease or ordering and re-ordering.<br><br>
A great book to read in your case is by Jay Abraham called <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fexec%2Fobidos%2FASIN%2F0312284543%2Fvegfamily" target="_blank">Getting Everything You Can Out of All You'Ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition</a>. This book did amazing things for me.<br><br>
Time, experience, customer loyalty and perseverance and you will eventually beat your competition.
 
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