Rarely does a session with agency owners go by when the topic of partnerships doesn’t come up. It’s a hot topic with a lot at stake if the wrong decision is made. Several agencies expressed the desire to look within – to a ‘keeper’ or the agency ‘rising star’- rather than going outside.
While one of your ‘keepers’ may be interested in a partnership, the first real issue to solve is whether that person is ready and has the managerial, leadership and financial skills to lead your agency. Fact is, some have it; some don’t. What you see on the surface may not be for ‘real.’
One agency owner had four candidates interested in becoming a partner and put each of them through some rigorous training – such as seeing the parts of running an agency and handling some of the responsibilities of being an owner – things they had never experienced before.
In the end, three candidates, all successful in their current agency roles, decided that a partnership wasn’t for them. Some failed at handling the additional responsibilities, one didn’t want to be on the hook for any financial liabilities and one just preferred a lifestyle with less stress.
However, you’ll find that some candidates are ready for the challenge. We queried 17 agency owners who successfully had or are currently in the process of bringing in a partner from the inside and examined their plans in detail. We covered the issues and opportunities, the advantages and the pitfalls.
There’s a lot to know and sometimes a lot to learn to make a new partnership relationship work. In collaboration, we now have 17 different success plans for those on the journey to partnership.
The peer to peer experience – learning from those who have ‘been there, done that’ – is the best way to ensure your partnership plans for the future are a success.