UK SET FOR BOOM IN BUSINESS PARTNERS AS SME OWNERS LOOK TO SHARE COST-OF-LIVING BURDEN

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·     Although just 8% of small business owners currently have a business partner, almost two thirds (63%) are looking for one to join them

·     Partners are key to business success, with 3 in 10 achieving more than they would have done alone

·     But business is not the only advantage – 30% say their business partner is a friend in life

London, United Kingdom, 20 July 2022: A new study1 from global technology platform, Intuit QuickBooks, has found that almost two thirds (63%) of SMB owners are looking for a business partner, while just 8% already have one – suggesting that a surge in business partnerships is on the horizon.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs are under vast financial pressure due to soaring inflation, supply chain issues and staff shortages. Over half (55%) of SMB owners who already have a business partner say that a key benefit of having one is better cash flow – which helps them combat the cost-of-living crisis head on.

While a partner is useful for providing that much needed extra cash, it’s not the only advantage of having one: 39% of SMB owners say that different perspectives are the top benefit, and 30% say their business partner is a friend in life as much as in business.

Finding the perfect match

3 in 10 SMB owners who already have a partner say they have achieved more than they would have done alone thanks to their business partner (30%), and that their business would not be as successful without their partner on board (30%) – while a quarter of SME owners (24%) said they’d feel more confident growing their business with one. The UK economy clearly stands to benefit from a rise in business partnerships.

That said, 23% of small business owners are struggling to find the right person for the job. A majority of small business owners (63%) have experienced issues with a current or previous business partner, with the most common challenges being inflexibility (33%), misalignment on vision (32%), and poor communication (30%).

Almost three-quarters (73%) say that they’ve been put off looking for a partner having experienced issues before. Being aware of what constitutes the perfect match for you will set you in good stead for business success. To do so, facing common difficulties head-on is essential.

Simon Squibb, Founder & Chief Purpose Officer of The Purposeful Project found the perfect business partner himself:

“It’s crucial to invest the time it takes to find the right business partner – so you can share the financial burden, keep each other balanced, and never feel alone. 50% of a successful company lasts better than 100% ownership of a failure. Finding the perfect business partner doesn’t always come easily, and from experience, it’s important to notice when it is not working and make the decision to split sooner rather than later. With the right partner on board, success is bound to find you and business is more fun in my experience.”

Build strong digital foundations

But business partners relied upon by SMB owners aren’t always ‘business partners’ in the traditional sense. In fact, digital tools (31%) and accountants (31%) were both more commonly thought of as business partners than a co-owner (30%) – demonstrating that digital tools can now assist entrepreneurs, empowering them with a “do it yourself” approach.

Mailchimp and Intuit recently launched a TikTok competition for small business owners to ‘serve up’ their perfect partner – prizes presented to winners on 9 July included Brunch at the Ivy, custom rackets and balls and a special edition NFTs.

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