software and anything else that benefitted
Randy Vines, co-owner of STL-Style and
a Costco member, says the two businesses
have had some very minor disagreements
about design elements and customers disrupting the work of the screen printer, but for
the most part pooling resources has been
working well for them.
“We shared space with them before this
year, but that was when our company wasn’t
open to the public,” says Vines.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21
any kind of sharing arrangement with the
building’s landlord before putting a plan into
gear, having a sublet agreement that spells out
how much the other party will pay and
requiring 30 days’ notice if there’s a change in
occupancy by either party.
“You should always get things in writing,
have a business plan and make legal agree-
ments, even if the people are your friends,”
says Vines. “If one deal goes awry, it could
sour the whole relationship.”
Most businesses in these types of partner-
ships prefer being on their own and hope to
do so when the economic climate improves.
How will a company know when it’s time to
“The natural growth of our businesses
will indicate when it’s time to cancel this
arrangement,” says Quadagno.
“It’s a financial help for us now. Ideally, it
would have been great to be on our own, but
this way the receptionist is one less employee
we have to pay,” he says. “In another year the
accounting firm will leave or we’ll find more
suitable space, like a warehouse, where we
have room to grow.”
Jones says he’ll know the time is right
Considering teaming up?
If you think a business-sharing partnership might work for you, here are some
aspects to reflect on before signing on the
Quadagno emphasizes that it’s more
important to know the other employees
before moving in together than to know
about their business.
“Assess the personalities you’re going to
be working with to make sure you’re all com-
patible,” suggests Jones. “These are people we
like being around.”
Jones also highly recommends clearing
when he’s spending more time dealing with
the other business than with his own. So far
that hasn’t happened; he also says when there’s
no longer enough space for both companies,
then it will be time to move on.
Heather Larson, a writer in Tacoma,
Washington, frequently writes about business
and finance for a variety of publications.
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