[SSB#9] Finding your perfect co-founder/s
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Welcome to the 9th edition of my newsletter "Supersonic Business", a fortnightly publication by me, Laura Landmark, with a focus on business growth, value and performance management, in other words, all things that make a business better.
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Sandnes, Norway, Saturday morning, 9th November 2019 ☀️
"Supersonic Business" is sent from me, a Management Accountant, to other Accountants, Finance Business Partners, CFO's, CEO's & those that have a leading position in business. The vision for the newsletter to share information, tips and tricks to build healthy, thriving businesses from the 'inside out', it is written from the finance and administration perspective.
I hope you enjoy [SSB#9], write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any feedback or questions.
Good morning world
Two and a half years ago I called up a guy I had collaborated with before in Oslo, and asked him if he would be interested in leaving his full-time job, packing up his flat and moving away from his life and his friends to co-found a company with me in Stavanger (that's the other side of the country for anyone not familiar with Norway!).
It was a real long shot, but I had an inkling that he would be the perfect person to go into partnership with, so I had to ask, and he agreed. Why?
Well, it certainly wasn't just because I asked him. It was because of our shared vision and the purpose of the company we were forming.
Of course, this is the short version of the story, neither of us disrupted our entire lives overnight without giving it some considered thought, but it was just as drastic as I explain. We both chucked in the certainty of our well-paid jobs, said goodbye to life as we knew it, and went 'all-in' to build our new business.
I cannot take the credit for motivating Espen into becoming a business owner, as he had been considering an entrepreneurial journey for a while, but it was lucky for me that the timing and proposed idea was right, and that he agreed to share the journey with me.
As it happens we have so many customers in Oslo, that Espen has been able to re-establish his life there to take care of business back in the Capital. We are a little company with big solutions and a large reach. We are changing the game in business performance management, bit by bit, just like we declared we would on 1 October 2017 when we launched.
There was no guarantee that this was going to go well, relative strangers thrown together in a high-pressure, high stakes situation is not necessarily a recipe for success. But we have built a flourishing partnership based on respect, trust and open communication, and we have tried to keep it fun. And it is going good, and it is hard work, but it is definitely fun!.
This newsletter is about finding the right co-founder, and the video below in section 4 sums it up perfectly, Caya explains what he considers the perfect co-founder trio, The Hustler, The Hipster and The Hacker. We have one more superstar just about to join our co-founder team, and then I think we have one of each, but I will leave you guessing which is which!
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Making our business partnership work at Mantle
First an article written for the CA Story by a gifted journalist, Chantelle P, about my path into entrepreneurship, and how me and Espen have worked together to set the foundations for a great culture in Mantle Analytics.
Chantelle writes about us:-
"Me and my business partner have very open channels of communication and we keep the conversations flowing.
We have also made it ‘safe’ for us to take the hard conversations with each other. No matter what business-related issues are on our minds we are able to share them.
We don’t always see eye to eye, and some of the conversations are tough and challenging but our best ideas are often generated out from these types of interactions.
Being open and honest and sometimes agreeing to disagree has been absolutely critical in driving the business forward, together."
Read the full article here
A guide to finding a co-founder
This article has some useful tips about the benefits of having a co-founder and what to consider when you have found your co-founder, including divisions of duties, equity splits, decision making, and an unequal split of workload. All really important things to consider at the outset.
I highly recommend getting a shareholders agreement in place right from the start which will document the shareholder's rights and obligations and will ensure everyone is treated fairly.
Once you have set out the intention on paper, you can file it away and get on with building the business, knowing that if/when conflict or dilemma arises you have a plan on how to deal with it.
We took a long of energy in preparing ours with professional advice, as this is a document that needs to work for you. Feel free to ask about our process if you have any questions.
“Two heads are always better than one in a startup. Both need to share the passion, long-term opportunity and risk, rather than just getting paid to do a job, win or lose.” - Martin Zwilling
Read the full article here
How to identify the perfect co-founder
This article has four great points about how to make the journey of getting a business off the ground altogether more pleasurable, and the chance of success more likely. Building a business is really hard, but it's so much easier when you are working with the right team.
"Ultimately, a successful partnership comes down to having the right chemistry. During the assessment phase, pay very close attention to personality similarities and differences and how being around this person makes you feel”. – Eyal Lifshitz
read the full article here
Finding a Co-founder
In this video, Caya, (founder and CEO of Slidebean) asks the question, do we even need a co-founder?
In this short and quite funny video, he warns against being a solo founder. He says the ideal setup is a co-founder trio which he describes as The Hustler, The Hipster & The Hacker and finally, evaluating whether or not you are a fit.
"the first tech person in a startup should have founder status" - Caya
This video makes a lot of sense, watch it to find out more about the common pitfalls in a startup business.
Did you know?
According to this survey, more than half of all co-founders buy their partners out.
Most common reason for co-founders to split is disagreement over the company's direction, says new research.
Read the article here.
Words of wisdom
Books on the bedside table this week.
Still reading this book. He is reminding us that growth for the sake of growth is rarely a good idea. That focus on your key strengths creates much more value in the long run, even if you end up with a smaller company.
Top Tip -
"Communication is king"!.
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place"! George Bernard Shaw
Always end with a thanks!
🙏Thanks to all my lovely friends and colleagues at InnovationDock in Stavanger, especially Pia and Nils Henrik. We have really loved sitting there with you all for the last two years, at the beautiful fun and vibrant Dock, but now we are moving a little closer to home. Gone soon but never forgotten. 💛
Something to watch
Have a peek at my latest video where I talk to Kenneth Flaglien of Visma software about the order to cash process where he explains how to ensure you get 30% of your money on time. A lifesaver for a scaling business.
Thanks for reading & see you next time
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