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What a Match!

Feel like your business is missing a key element? Finding a good partner could be just the thing to complete the picture. Here's what you should keep in mind if you want to make a partnership click.

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This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Start Up.

Jeff Olson started Velocity Business Publishing in 1997 with one partner and soon took on another. For the next five years, the business grew, sales increased and the partnership prospered. But then sales slumped, the business struggled and the partnership cracked. The 46-year-old entrepreneur bought out his partners in the Middlebury, Vermont, publisher in July 2003 and now says, "I'll never go into a partnership with anybody again. I'm going to be in charge of my own thing."

Olson's experience is one that many people considering starting a business need to hear about. Lured by the promise of companionship, the hope of sharing financial and decision-making burdens, and the potential for synergy with someone who has complementary talents, entrepreneurs by the millions decide that starting a business with a partner is far better than going it alone.

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