MADE Maven Special Women's Issue April 2018 | Page 37

MADEINC clarity on steps that should occur to achieve those goals. It’s equally important to understand the motives of each party. DO implement a trial period and sign a NDA . You don’t have to commit to a formal partnership in the beginning, but you should protect your idea. Be sure to sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect any type of confidential and proprietary information or trade secrets that you all come up with together. Then, test the waters out over a trial period of 3-6 months. This will allow you both to see how you work together and to actually see the value that each party brings to the business. It is also enough time to vet the level of commitment from both sides. DO generate a formal ownership agreement. After you all have a good understanding of your roles and commitment levels, seek out a lawyer to draft a formal ownership agreement identifying the ownership (equity) of each party. Be sure that you think long and hard about the amount of equity each party owns. Don’tS: DON’T automatically agree to a 50/50 partnership. Consider adding in a clause to your ownership agreement that if any of the partners leave the company within 12 months of starting it, they will not get any equity. Each partner should commit a certain amount of time in the beginning to plant the seeds that root a company. Businesses take time to grow and flourish and if a partner leaves before the company sprouts, it’s not fair to reap the benefits. DON’T invest money you're not prepared to lose. The future of any business is unknown. Although we’d like to assume that all investments will receive their proper ROI (return on investment), various factors determine if this is the reality. Whatever money you decide to invest, treat it as a donation. The expectation should be that after a certain amount of time, money will be returned with interest (which should be identified in a formal #mademaven agreement). DON’T mix business with every conversation. Your friendship should be the priority, first and foremost. As a business grows, it will be easy to allow it to consume your chats. Restrict your business talk to a certain time frame during the week to avoid the business relationship taking over your friendship. DON’T live together. Try to stay away from a live/work relationship. Mixing household bills and chores with business payments and deliverables often ends in turmoil. If you decide to go in business and must live with a friend or even a family member, be sure to implement hard boundaries to separate your personal and professional relationships to keep your sanity and maintain your bond. 37