Tech Care Association (TCA)
Very few have ever found success in this world on their own.
In our industry most of the very successful companies have started with at least two strong partners. UBIF and iCracked both started with two very strong entrepreneurs and went on to sell their companies for millions of dollars. I could name others that have had strong growth in our industry because they had partners to help their growth.

But not everyone has a partner, much less a strong one. My tech repair business is a great example. I launched it by myself after selling an AT&T dealership — where I had a business partner — thinking I could conquer the world by myself. And despite my success, I could only grow so far by myself. Looking back I wish I had a partner.

On the other hand some partnerships go bad. My first two businesses ended after a partner stole money from the company. I guess I’m too hardheaded to learn things the first time around. But I’ve seen similar partnerships in our industry. Trust is important, but so is checking the books and the bank account.
Many of you are content with operating one shop that does a certain amount of business and that’s great. If you can operate a business, pay yourself, pay all of your bills and provide for your family awesome. If you can’t do those things you need a partner in some capacity to help.

If you want to expand your business beyond a single location then you have very little choice than to bring in a partner. Two or three locations sounds easy once you’ve mastered a single location but it’s not. Want grow? Find a partner!

Partnerships come in all different shapes and sizes. They should also bring different skills to the business. My partner in the AT&T business was a limited partner who didn’t participate in the day to day operations but handled our finances. This was a skill that I lacked. Know your weaknesses and plan accordingly.
Not every partner will have a financial stake in your business but other types of partners should want to see you succeed. These are companies you do business with on a regular basis. It could be a parts supplier, a marketing company, or some type of business association (like the TCA).

These relationships are important to your business and will help determine your future success. If you, or the company you’re doing business with, treats these partnerships as a simple transaction then it is NOT A PARTNERSHIP. You should walk away from these type of relationships (good personal advice too!).

You should evaluate these partnerships on a regular basis. For instance if you are a repair company, who you buy parts from is critical to your companies success. Price is only one thing that you should evaluate when looking at these partnerships.
If you have kids you might have heard a teacher evaluate your child on how well they work with others. Why? Because this is a critical skill in life. It’s also a critical skill in our industry and very few grade out much higher than a ‘D’.

I get it. Their are a lot of scavengers in our industry. Knowing that I have even been too trusting myself in operating the TCA (reread the update from last week below). We need to work together to eliminate those people from our industry.

NEXT STEPS: Friends, if your business is not living up to what you need and/or expect it’s time to evaluate yourself. Here are three steps you should consider today:
1) Should my business continue (some need to simply close the doors)?
2) Do I need to find a business partner or explore a merger/acquisition?
3) How can I do a better job of working with people within the industry?
For some of you it’s too late. You need to count your losses and close up shop before it gets worse. A failed business is NOT the end of the world. For many it’s the beginning of a new world and more success. Or at least some stability in life.

Some of you suck at certain aspects of business and you need to find a partner to help you move forward. Owning 100% of a sinking ship means nothing. On the other hand having a stake in a business that allows you to pay yourself is priceless.

Lastly, and most importantly, how are you partnering with others in the industry?

Every single successful business in this country is connected in one way or another to other businesses in their industry. This is the core of an industry trade association (read more here about WHY you should belong to a business association).
Working with others is important to the success of anyone! Let’s all work together to help everyone succeed in our industry so that fewer of you have to think about question #1 above!
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