Starting your own startup completely alone is a stressful process. Because of that, many people would rather choose to start a business with a reliable partner. Yet, we should focus on the word “reliable”.
Finding a trustworthy partner is not an easy task at all. Many people think that financial stability is the only characteristic they should follow. But, is that enough?
The main reason why people should look for business partners is the division of responsibilities. This doesn’t include only the initial capital that we need at the beginning. It also includes the decision-making process, time management, planning process, etc.
You already heard a well-known quote that says – “two heads are better than one”. One person cannot be an expert for each field, right? When 2 people combine their skills and abilities, the results can be amazing. Each process we mentioned above is going to be much easier when two people join forces.
Who Can Potentially Be Your Business Partner?
The general answer would be – everyone who has the same goals and interests as you. Yet, if you pick a “stranger”, it is logical that you will have to do some kind of background check. But, business partners whose flaws and virtues you already know are family members and best friends. In that case, you won’t have to do any kind of “people search”.
Did you know that around 35% of Fortune 500 companies are actually family businesses? That is a strong reason why we suggest you should first talk to your parents, relatives, or spouse. However, it often happens that we do not have the same interests as our beloved ones. In that case, you will have to carefully go through a few steps that will help you find the right business partner!
Things To Consider Before Choosing A Business Partner
Before we start with explanations, there is something we need to mention. One or two meetings with your new business partner are not going to be enough to meet him well. What if he is not as honest as you think? You should check their bio before everything. More precisely, you should confirm that they are who they claim to be. After you do that, you can continue with the process!
Skills and Experience
The background check of your future partner is going to tell you a lot about their skills and employment history. Still, you can’t allow that rich biography impress you a lot. It is important to predict which of the skills they could use to bring value to your business. For instance, if they have completely the same set of skills as you, is that going to be good for your business? If you are both experts for marketing, who is going to take care of finance? That’s why you have to imagine which combination of skills is going to be perfect for the development of your business.
Interests, Values, and Vision
Maybe your skills should be different, but your goals and ambitions need to be the same.
For example, your goal is to expand your business across the entire country in the next 5 years. But, your business partner would be satisfied to remain small. Everything is going to be great in the first 2 years. Still, what will happen when you need to move forward? It will lead to many disagreements and you will fail in the end.
Make a clear vision of your business already at the beginning. You both need to equally participate in the planning process. Put every goal you have on a piece of paper and divide them into mini-goals. Determine deadlines for each goal you have and try to stay realistic.
Starting a business without money is tough. You will have to be clever to do that properly. Your partner and you need to be able to invest money in your business. This is not only important for the beginning of your “business journey”. You must also have reserves of money in case something goes wrong. If they are not capable to follow your investments, then they are not the partner you are looking for.
Money and knowledge is not the only thing your business partner can offer. Have you ever thought about the business connections they have? This could be quite helpful for you, especially if you are new in your industry.
So, what exactly do business connections include?
First of all, your partner must be connected somehow with other entrepreneurs. They do not necessarily need to be from the same industry as you. Let’s say that you are planning to run a private dental office. That requires buying high-quality equipment to be better than your competitors. Your business needs to know which supplier is reliable. If your partner has a connection, they will know exactly which one to recommend you.
Besides that, it is a bonus if your partner already has a list of clients. Let’s imagine that your business partner was working for years in some other dental office. You can find out how successful they were thanks to the background check that you made. In case they indeed were successful then many clients would come to your mutual office as well. They will recommend you to people around them if you continue to provide them with the same quality of services. This looks like a good start, doesn’t it?
As with every team that exists its’ members must be team players. We already mentioned the quote “two heads are better than one”. But, if one of the heads is not ready to cooperate properly, this won’t be the case.
The characteristic of any successful business partnership is high-quality communication. Maybe your partner possesses high-quality external communication skills (business connections, contracting, marketing, branding, etc.). However, if they are not ready to listen to your conclusions and opinions, you won’t be able to function well.
We can compare this with marriage. You have to be tolerant and flexible if you want to have a happy marriage. If not, you and your spouse will divorce. It is completely the same in the business world. Making independent decisions without consulting almost always leads to bankruptcy.
Last, but not least – your business partner needs to have some good personal characteristics. First of all, you need to recognize that they are responsible and true to their word. That will boost your mutual trust to another level.
Besides that, it is recommendable that you lead the same or similar way of life. That’s the moment when you should look for people search services. They will help you get social media profiles of your potential partner. Most of the people share absolutely everything on their profiles. That is the perfect place to find out more about personality, mentality, and habits of your future partner
So, what do you think now? Is it better to find a co-founder or to start your own business alone? Follow the steps we talked about in case you are ready to share responsibility with someone else. Do a proper background check and try to meet your partner before you even start the conversation about business.
However, keep in mind that your business partner is going to expect the same things as you. You also have to be an example of a good entrepreneur if you want your mutual business to succeed.
Remember – “Two heads are better than one!”
Go On, Tell Us What You Think!
Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on how to choose a business partner in the comments section.
A startup consultant, digital marketer, traveller, and philomath. Aashish has worked with over 20 startups and successfully helped them ideate, raise money, and succeed. When not working, he can be found hiking, camping, and stargazing.