Ann Summers chairman David Gold on having a business partner [Video]

Speaking to Startups in this video, Ann Summers chairman David Gold explains how bringing in a business partner with the right mix of skills can be the difference between success and failure as an entrepreneur.

Gold is known for being one half of two of the UK’s best-known business partnerships – the first, with his brother Ralph, purchasing Ann Summers and growing it into the biggest name in UK erotica, and the second with friend David Sullivan, with whom he has co-owned two of the UK’s biggest football clubs.

As Gold explains, one of the benefits of such partnerships is the sense of shared experience it brings – in his words, “you share the highs, and you share the lows”. But more than this, he argues, the right business partnership can bring out the best in both individuals and account for their own areas of weakness. “It’s a huge benefit if you have qualities they don’t have, or they have qualities you don’t have,” the serial entrepreneur explains. “The sum of the two is greater than the sum of the two individuals.”

Whilst Gold concedes that some entrepreneurs choose the wrong partner, burning their fingers and spending the “rest of their lives” avoiding partnerships, he says his partnership with his brother has been nothing but successful. “Individually, we would have failed,” he admits. “But collectively, there weren’t two of us – there were ten of us.”

Explaining further, Gold says the “strong bond” between the brothers was extremely important in fostering a sense of shared purpose, and the mix of skills both brought to the table made the partnership a formidable one. “There’s no doubt that I had qualities he was woeful at, and he had qualities that I was woeful at,” the businessman explains. “One of the qualities my brother did have was negotiating skills – my impatience is not part of good negotiation, as I have subsequently learnt – and my brother’s ability to negotiate was one of the strengths in our business relationship.”

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