Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bill Bartmann's Business Development Tips: Creating a Master-mind Group

The concept of the master-mind group was originally developed and implemented by Napoleon Hill, over 50 years ago. It has been proven to work for many serious entrepreneurs. The idea is to surround yourself with people who know more than you so you can benefit from this collective intelligence as you rise to a whole new level in life and business.

The master-mind group of only 4 or 5 is smaller than your advisory board, and the group is designed for everyone to help each other, where an advisory board is just focused on your business. The master-mind group provides a reciprocal trade of knowledge.

It is lonely at the top; you need a group of people who you can relate to, network with and learn from. Unlike your monthly, one hour meetings with your advisory board, you will meet with your master-mind group quarterly and the meetings will take place over two days at 6-8 hours each.

You will meet at a place completely disconnected from your life and business; this will be a sort of enrichment retreat for all of you. After the meeting, you and your distinguished group can enjoy some recreation, play some golf or have dinner, drinks and conversation.

The purpose of the master-mind group is to have the support of other individuals who are at your level of business, and who may be facing some of the same challenges you are. It is an opportunity to discuss things that you would not discuss at work or home. It is a chance to confide in others who you can trust will offer support and be discreet. What is said at the master-mind meeting stays at the master-mind meeting.

Here are some of the responsibilities and benefits of the master-mind group:

Sharpen skills while sharing business and personal experiences and knowledge
Honesty and loyalty while providing advice and opinions
Experience is our greatest teacher; learn from each others’ shared experiences
Group helps us be accountable, as we hold our employees accountable
Valuable support is provided by other business leaders who know what you don’t know.

A master-mind group is vital to personal and business growth. A master-mind group should provide each other an opportunity for growth, by sharing support, experience and knowledge needed to succeed in business.

Bill Bartmann has quarterly meetings with his master-mind group of like minded people who come together to provide value and to gain value within a group. Surround yourself with others who think like you do; who share similar interests as well as unique skills.

Bill Bartmann Tips: Business Partnerships

Is a partnership right for you? Creating a partnership for business can be a very good or a very bad decision. It is important that you understand how to form a partnership and how to avoid partnership problems before they destroy your business.

If you are considering an opportunity to enter into a partnership, then you must realize that a partner will offer something of value to your business. Also know that a conflict with a partner can seriously impact your business.

A business partnership is like a marriage; you cannot just fire your partner, as you can an employee. Your partner has an ownership interest in your business. Severing a partnership is a legal action, like divorce, and it can be very expensive, even leading to bankruptcy.

You must make this decision wisely; be sure that you are entering into the partnership for the right reasons. A friend or family member does not make one a good choice for a business partner. They must bring something of value that you need to run the business, whether it be money, knowledge & skills in a specific area, or attributes essential to your success.

Another key rule to entering into a partnership is to never go into a 50/50 partnership. Someone has to be in charge. If there should be a disagreement on a business decision, where the authority is 50/50, you will have come to an impasse where you will experience in-action.

It is fine to agree to a 50/50 revenue split, but one side of the partnership must be at least 51% managerial. This must be decided on upfront and understood that one of you will make final decisions. The one who has the 51% managerial position will promise to ask, seek council and respect the opinion of their partner before making the final decision.

Another important document that needs to be included in your partnership agreement is a Buy/Sell Agreement with a separation clause describing how one will buy the other out if one should want to leave the partnership for any reason. Whether it be due to disagreement or just because one is moving on to do pursue something different, it is very important to have a separation agreement in place ahead of time.

A business partnership has a greater chance of being successful if it is properly set up with a complete partnership agreement in place. The agreement must delegate who is in charge, the economics of the business, and the separation clause.

Some of the biggest businesses today began as partnerships; partnerships can be successful. But, be careful and make good choices at the beginning. A partner must bring value to the business and you must enter the partnership for the right reasons.