My article about the pitfalls of partners not meeting regularly brought in comments about boredom, wasted time, and not getting anything significant done.
Yet I still hold firm to the importance of meeting regularly. The call I most often receive from endangered partnership relationships is from one of them complaining that “My partner is not doing all he said he would and I’m doing all the work”. I know immediately that they haven’t been meeting.
You may think you don’t have enough to talk about.
Today’s article is about topics that need to be addressed at meetings to make them worthwhile, interesting and inspiring, and where essentials get accomplished.
The agenda will depend on where you are in your partnership and the state of the business. Many successful partnerships touch base every day to be on the same page with the activities for that day, although each will likely be addressing different areas, such as meeting with a client or dealing with payroll.
Touching base even for a few minutes every day seems to be a cornerstone for success in many partner owned businesses.
Weekly meetings are essential to discuss day to day and month to month running of the business.
Decide upon the frequency which you discuss each topic and create clear agendas.
Schedule extra meetings if needed. Conduct the meetings with respect for each other’s time.
Keep an open mind by listening well, clarifying what someone else is saying and give serious consideration to points of view other than your own.
Not in any specific order following is a list of suggested topics for discussion at your regular meetings. Not everything on this list will apply to your business or need to be discussed often. There may be some things, industry specific or unique to your business, that are not here, so add them.
- Where each of you are in your divided duties
- Customer acquisition
- Finances: Cash flow/ budget
- Operations: Employee issues
- Outside experts: lawyers, accountants, business evaluation expert, coaches, real estate or insurance agents, bankers, etc.
- Compliance issues
- Sales and Marketing
- Products. Design. Fulfillment
- Employee issues/ Team building
- Community relations/philanthropy
- Do a SWOT analysis and use it to plan
- Check in with your mission statement and long term vision to see if you are on track with both
- Check to see if you need to make modifications to your business plan?
- Personal issues between you
- Changes in your attitude towards the business. Do you both (all) still love it?
- Deal with the unexpected scenarios
- Reevaluate exit strategy
I’m sure you can see that each one of these categories and others are crucial to the overall high functioning of your business. Why would you ignore discussing them?
If one of you or someone else on your team is in charge of any of these areas, you, as an owner still must know what’s going on and be involved in the decision making at some level.
Don’t be the partner to be shocked to find their best client is gone.
Don’t find out that you have been overpaying a supplier because someone didn’t do due diligence in their search for a source. Don’t have your lack of meetings with managers and teams result in breakdowns, lack of efficiency and coordination between your design, sales and marketing groups.
If you want your business to function at its highest level like a well-oiled machine, don’t be in the dark about any aspect. This is not micro-managing. This is most likely the biggest part of your life and support of yourself and family. It’s not smart to not be in the know about the big picture and the small one that compiles it.
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