business partnerships

The Pros and Cons of Having a Business Partner

Antwon Davis and Eldredge Washington are co-founders of Spendefy – a tech company with a digital platform that makes it easier to find black-owned businesses in your city. The idea behind Spendefy developed when Antwon and Eldredge were discussing the lack of economic structure in the black community. Spendefy hosts thousands of black businesses on its platform and makes it easy for consumers to find them.

Antwon and Eldredge never anticipated the platform going viral and becoming such a big hit.

Eldredge credits this to their guerrilla marketing efforts, instead of staying behind the computer screen like other tech startups.

Before launching Spendefy, Antwon and Eldredge knew each other for two years. Not necessarily friends at first, the two had always shared a mutual respect for each other and admired each other’s work. Eldredge loves that their partnership involves checking in with each other personally and believes it’s important. Complete opposites, the pair strike a nice balance and figure out how to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

When asked about their pro’s and con’s of a co-partnership, Antwon believes a pro is having somebody who can see the blind spots from a distance and help you identify them. His con is that you have to be willing to have the hard conversations because if not, things may fall apart. One of Eldredge’s pro’s is having someone to tag team with, and his other pro is having someone with you when you jump. His one con is the process of getting to know your partner. Although not always the case, most co-founders won’t be your friend but merely someone you know and respect. Antwon and Eldredge, for example, started out as associates and then grew to become friends. Eldredge’s most important piece of advice, however, is to have communication. He says, “You can avoid every con there is to having a co-founder with communication.”

Key takeaways:

  • Check in with your partner personally
  • Know how to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Find a partner who’s equally committed
  • It’s okay – and healthy – to disagree
  • Communication is key