5 Steps to Finding the Perfect Business Partner

Aug 06, 2015

Choosing your business partner could make or break your business. A great partner can bring a range of skills and talents to your startup, helping it to go from strength to strength. On the other hand, there is always the potential for conflicts and bust-ups. In fact, one survey has found that 65% of startups fail because of divisions between their co-founders. For your business to grow, you need to select someone carefully. Here’s how…

Understand yourself first

Before you enter a partnership, you need to know your own strengths and weaknesses. This will help you to work out what you need to find in a partner. If you can find someone who compliments your skills and excels in your weaker areas, your business will be in a much better position going forward.

Know what you want to achieve

From the start of your search for a partner, you need to be clear about your business goals. Finding a partner who shares your aims will give your business a unity of vision that will enable you to grow and progress. Make sure your goals go beyond simple financial concerns: getting rich is great, but you will need to find someone who is motivated by more than money to survive the difficult times that come with any startup.

Get references

In some ways, finding a business partner is just like filling any job vacancy. So why not ask your candidates for some references? By contacting people your prospective partners have worked with in the past, you will get a much clearer idea of whether they are the right fit for you and your startup.

Work together before you commit to a partnership

If you choose someone as your business partner, you are going to be spending a lot of time with them at very close quarters. By organizing trial projects, you will be able to see whether your working styles and personalities complement each other. If they don’t, you can part ways and save both of you a lot of stress and hassle.

Work out how to manage your conflicts before they arise

When meeting with a prospective business partner, you should talk about how you are going to manage any conflicts that come up. By setting out clear expectations of each other at the start of your relationship, you will have a coherent, pre-agreed plan to follow if things aren’t working out at any point in the future. In particular, you should consider how and when your partnership might end. It’s a well-known statistic that 80% of startups fail, and preparing for all eventualities will make everything far easier if things don’t work out.

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