Lesson learnt from a small partnership

After I came back from Shanghai, I partnered with a good friend of mine and import some stuffs back from China/Hongkong and sell it here. While the profit margin were very high and was a good way to earn some quick buck, I decided to call off the partnership because of several reasons. Took away a few key learning points:

1. 讲钱 really 伤感情 – probably the main reason why I decided to call off the partnership and focus on other more important stuffs. In English, it literally means, when you talk about money issues with your friend, feelings will be hurt. So what happened in my partnership with my good friend was, I earned more from the products i sold (we sell the products that we imported in ourselves, and i sold more products) and there was no arrangements as to how to split the profits. The implied arrangements was that we will keep whatever profits that we manage to sell. So we did have a heated discussion about the proceeds. Takeaway: Once the business brings in money, it is important to document them properly, and all arrangements of proceeds must be communicated properly from the start.

2. Brick and Mortar Business – because the business involves logistics, import and export, delivery of products, marketing and everything along that brick and mortar process value chain, it is not what Im interested in after the mini venture. It allows me to better reaffirm myself that Im more comfortable in businesses that put things together, rather than be involved in brick and mortar business. I blogged about this back then about 2 kinds of business owners: one that is comfortable with tangible products(brick and mortar, F&B) and another which prefers non tangible products(events, web startup, etc). It allows me to learn how to say NO to things, and have a better understanding of what I am comfortable at and well, good at.

Definitely a good experience.


5 thoughts on “Lesson learnt from a small partnership

  1. June says:

    So true that 讲钱伤感情。I’m now in pretty similar situation as you were. My friend and I got similar ideas to sell stuff in China. Fact is, I’ve previous experience in sourcing and running similar biz, while he’s not. He even brings in a so-called partner. These days I keep thinking how to draw the split line and when to say yes & no….

    For the lines you draw between 2 kinds of biz…. Think it’s also related to personality. But I’ve figured out plan to “fund” my non-tangible, more venturous projects with some tangible low-risk biz. At least making a running revenue stream to support my experiments. =)

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