The first step to finding a business partner is deciding whether you really need one or not. After careful consideration, you might realise that you don’t really need a business partner. Comparing what you can achieve while working alone, with the projected growth of the business when there are added skills from a partner, will help you decide whether you need a partner or not. With added skills you might realise that you will surpass what you can achieve when you are working alone. You realise the potential of achieving even more and you recognise what you lack when you are alone. You have to be convinced that you won’t be able to reach the milestones you want to reach alone. If you have no doubt that having a partner will help grow the business, then it’s a good idea.
After deciding that you really do need a partner, the hardest task is finding the right person to work with. Failed business relationships can run the business to the ground – you have to choose wisely.
Yin to your yang
Start your search based on the skills you need in order to take the business further. Wherever you lack, your partner should be able to compensate.
Good balance between the partners ensures that one partner doesn’t end up feeling more important than the other – this is especially important when there is an equal partnership. Make sure that you and your partner feed off each other, so that there is a healthy balance of your partner needing you as much as you need them. A partner that fits the skills profile that you are looking for is a good fit, but there is more to be considered. You cant totally isolate a person from their skills, there are many other factors that come into play. Unlike an employee, a partner has a level of control over the business and takes part in decision making. Being in sync in terms of skill doesn’t mean everything else will fall into place.
Passion & Vision
Your business partner doesn’t necessarily have to be as passionate as you are about the industry you are in. A person with a great work ethic and who possesses the necessary skills you need, can be the right person to bring on board. If they care about their personal growth and link it to the growth of the company, opposed to viewing the business as a temporal endeavour that helps them pass time, they are sure to put in their best effort. A business partner that’s in pursuit of other passions isn’t necessarily bad for business. They might still be able to devote time and energy to the business. This depends on how high the business is in their list of priorities. Like marriage, some business partnerships last until death do them part. It’s important to share the same type of vision. Do you want your business to be kept in the family and have future generations take over the business? You and your business partner need to share a similar vision, so you can move in the same direction.
Some have tried to deal with the issue of trustworthiness by choosing to work with a relative or a friend opposed to working with a stranger. This formula doesn’t have a 100% success rate. When the business relationship breaks, it’s not just the business that suffers, family ties can be broken forever. Is it worth the risk? Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.
When you are looking to partner with someone that you are not related to and don’t know well enough to trust, you can start by asking yourself if they have as much to lose as you. Is there enough information available about this person for a background check? Are you able to contact the people your potential partner has worked with to find out more information about them? How will you ensure that there is transparency? Leaving very little space for fraud and dishonesty. Last but not least, what is your gut telling you? You can’t make decisions solely on gut feelings. What this means is that you need to continue to find out more information until you start feeling more at ease. Trust is a huge factor in a business partnership. It doesn’t just contribute to having a peace of mind, it also contributes to the success and longevity of the business.