Today’s advice comes from Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson’s Q&A column at Entrepreneur:
“[A] partner with money is very useful, but a partner who will also provide you and your team with the space, time and freedom needed to build the business is a true friend — and that friendship will stand the test of time.“
Branson’s ideas about partnership align with his infamous rogue attitude. He sacrificed some of the speed of his company’s growth to keep all the equity in his businesses. He wanted to maintain control, and only took on partners for practical reasons.
“I have found that our partnerships at Virgin turn out best when we find an investor who takes a minority stake in a venture and provides capital and support, but leaves us to run the business and hire key employees,” he says.
“When you are evaluating a proposed partnership, do not focus only on the capital you need to kick-start your business.
Ask: Will this person or group give us the space and time we need to build a great business?”