We believe in the power of partnership!

Some people say business is all about crushing the competition, but we believe it is much more common that collaboration creates mutual success. In fact, if there is one foundational business principle we believe has helped us grow Liberty Jane Clothing, it’s the partnership between us as co-founders, (Jason + Cinnamon). Cinnamon brings the technical design skill, and Jason brings the marketing and sales skills. But it doesn’t stop there. We’ve become comfortable working with other people too. We view the business world as a place for lots of collaboration – and less often cut-throat competition. Other people see it differently. If you have a competition mentality, we’d encourage you to consider migrating to a more collaborative approach. We believe that in the long-run it will serve you better.

As I write, this, we are working with the following people to accomplish several specific things, including:

  • Shirley & her partners in India – Our wordpress consultant who has helped us build several of our websites. (this one and our patterns website).
  • The Tax Ladies of Auburn – our book-keepers.
  • Jess – our Social Media Consultant who is helping us with our social media marketing.
  • A dozen cool pattern partners.
  • Dawne – our amazing seamstress.
  • KitzyKK on Youtube – she does pattern tutorials for us.
  • Jeff, Ron & Chris – mentors to Jason on marketing and business issues.
  • Alice – our corporate contact at Bernina.
  • You! Over 300 partners who are working to build cool businesses using our patterns and resources.

Of course we want to be a great partner to you – but if you are trying to do everything alone, and you’re struggling, then we’d encourage you to seriously consider expanding your list of partners. We’re excited that you’ve taken the first step to partner with us – and we want to be the best partner we can be, but you probably need more than just us. There is a terrific saying from the Bible about the power of a partner…

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up… Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

There are several great reasons to partner:

  1. A good partner brings skills that you don’t have – and together you’re more complete
  2. A good partner brings energy that you might be lacking – and together you operate more intensely
  3. A good partner brings perspective that might challenge yours – and together you’re wiser
  4. A good partner brings enthusiasm – so that when you’re down – their encouragement will keep you going

Of course, partnering with people can have it’s down side too. Sometimes you partner with people who turn out to be less than trust-worthy. We’ve had that happen. We’ve had people try to get close to us just to learn enough about what we’re doing to go off on their own. That hurts. Maybe some of you are actually just reading everything on our partners site so you can figure out how to compete with us. That would be a bummer, but it’s not a sufficient reason for us to abandon our collaborative approach.

When considering partnerships, we’d suggest you keep these things in mind:

  1. Is the new partner trustworthy?
  2. Do you share the same (or at least similar) values and goals?
  3. Are you and the partner clear on the terms related to money involved? The worst partnerships are vague. The best are written clearly – even if just via email.
  4. Is there a ‘test period’ where you try out the arrangement and agree to end it if things aren’t working?
  5. Does the new partner bring a specific skill that adds value to the business?

You might be wondering how partnerships work formally – legally. The answer is – it depends. There are lots of ways to partner with people – from a simple vendor relationship where you’re buying a service from someone – to a formal business partner where you are in business together. We won’t go into the tax implications of these choices, but if you wonder, ask your CPA. Here are a few:

  1. You can pay people per ‘piece’.
  2. You can pay people a percentage of sales.
  3. You can split net revenue, (50/50 or at any agreed upon percentage).
  4. You can have people pay you to partner with you, (like you’re doing as a premium partner).
  5. You can have people give you products or services so that you’ll partner with them, (that’s our deal with Bernina).
  6. You can have people give you an affiliate commission for partnering with them, (that’s how we get money from Amazon).
  7. And I’m sure there are lots of other ways.

If there is any way we can be a better partner to you – let us know.

And tell us what you think of this post!

Jason & Cinnamon

3 Comments on The Power Of A Partner

  1. I am excited about partnering with you, but I will need a lot of help and guidance. I have just started making doll clothes, although I have been sewing since I was in jr. high school (age 60). I love your post–most especially–the Bible reference. That assures me that we do think alike. I love your patterns and am so looking forward to being able to sell my outfits. I contribute my proceeds to my two Compassion International sponsored children in the Philippeans. Cris

  2. Hey, that’s really cool. Lots of our money goes to special mission type projects too – kindred spirits I guess.

    So let us know how we can help. Use the forum for Q&A on any of the topics, and we’ll do everything we can to get you going.

  3. I’m excited also to be partnering with you guys. I have been selling on Etsy, but not doll clothes. I am new to making doll clothes to sell. I made them when I was young, but now am reentering that world and am actually having fun. I especially like starting out with a pattern and then changing it around to my own design, or mixing parts of one pattern with parts of another to get the look I really want. I have a feeling I might even start making my own patterns soon. I’ll let you know how that goes! But really I am excited about having a partner who has been there, done that! I look forward to learning from you and your experience. Thanks

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