How Do You Choose a Good Business Partner?

Two confident business man shaking hands during a meeting in the office, success, dealing, greeting and partner concept Free Photo

Based in Los Angeles, Bill Asher is an accomplished entrepreneur who has started more than 25 companies in multiple industries. An MBA graduate from the University of Southern California, Bill Asher attributes his success in entrepreneurship to finding the right partners in each business he ventures into.

To write his book The Founder’s Dilemma, Harvard Business School professor Noam Wasserman studied almost 10,000 founders, and concluded that 65 percent of startups fail because of conflicts between the partners. From this study it is clear if you want your business to succeed, you must work with the right co-founders. But how do you choose the best person to go into business with?

Business experts say anyone you partner with should be financially stable for two reasons. One, if the person cannot properly manage their money, they may not have the discipline to respect a partnership and they could bring their poor financial management skills into the business. Two, a partner who is financially unstable could be tempted to steal from the business to sort out their money issues. It is important to also partner with someone who has financial resources, business networks, a client list, etc., as these things will help in the long-term success of the business.

People you want to avoid partnering with are those with personal baggage, credibility issues, or someone you don’t trust. For example, a partner with a lot of personal issues may spend a lot of time dealing with them, leaving you to handle every aspect of the business.

Inspecting the State of the Adult Industry

A longtime entrepreneur, Bill Asher has experience in numerous niches, including the adult entertainment industry. Most notably, Bill Asher worked for Playboy Entertainment Group in 1994, where he pushed the status quo on hardcore adult content over that of the usual softer core adult content then available on television. At that time, the company faced the dilemma of whether to continue to provide softcore adult content exclusively or to expand its offerings to include hardcore content.

Showing audience members hardcore adult content can present many unique questions: is there a market for it? (The answer is a resounding yes.) Is it acceptable or morally right to present hardcore content rather than softer adult coverage? (This depends on who is asked.) But one truth remains: having a variety of options in the industry provides an opportunity to better gauge what society deems too graphic or inappropriate.

This question was answered in part with the launch of the first hardcore channel, the Hot Network. The channel was owned by Califa Entertainment, which went on to launch a number of other hardcore channels. After signing a deal with Califa, DirecTV, AT&T, Time Warner, and other television distributors discovered that hardcore channels were their most profitable offerings. Meanwhile, Playboy had lost significant market share. In 2001, Playboy purchased these hardcore networks in a deal worth more than $100 million.

Examining the Financial Skills Needed to Be a Successful Entrepreneur

A successful entrepreneur based in Los Angeles, California, Bill Asher has used his Ivy League education to build businesses in several different industries. At the start of his career, Bill Asher worked with various companies in finance, which is an important skill that an entrepreneur must have.

An entrepreneur must have knowledge of many aspects of business, with accounting and finance being important. A degree in this field is not essential, but some understanding is required.

Budgeting is an essential skill for any entrepreneur looking to start a successful business. The entrepreneur must be able to develop a detailed plan on how finances are both acquired and spent and gain an understanding of cash flow and balance sheets as well. As the business is legally its own separate entity, business and personal finances must remain separate.

Understanding credit will allow the entrepreneur to ensure that they borrow money wisely and understand the terms of any loan. Capital can be difficult to acquire for a new business, so it is pertinent that borrowed capital is used properly. The ability to make sound investments with limited capital can help realize future growth and profit.

Successful Entrepreneurs Who Overcame Failure in Business

Entrepreneur Bill Asher is the co-owner of Vivid Entertainment. A leading authority in the entertainment industry, Bill Asher took content to the masses through partnerships with cable television networks, achieving significant success as a business person. Like many entrepreneurs, he has also experienced failed ventures, such as his attempt to introduce an uncensored music television network, before achieving success.

Before co-founding Microsoft, Bill Gates was part of a team that founded Traf-O-Data, a company that recorded traffic information through wired cables next to roads and relayed the information to government authorities and private companies. The company never gained traction and ultimately, failed.

Nick Woodman, the founder of GO Pro, also faced failure in his first venture Fun Bug. The company attempted to revolutionize marketing by combining it with gaming. It was a complete miss that cost investors millions of dollars. Other well-known entrepreneurs who have experienced failure include Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel whose fund Clarium Capital burned through 90 percent of its assets, Milton Hershey whose first three candy companies failed, and Reid Hoffman whose first social networking company before LinkedIn, SocialNet, failed.

Other entrepreneurs made huge mistakes while running their companies. For example, when Jeff Bezos launched Amazon to sell books, people exploited a glitch in its system to receive credit from the company. Later on, when the company started selling toys, Bezos had trouble forecasting demand for the holiday season, leaving the company with millions worth of toys after the season ended that had to be given away.