Many small business owners are used to taking on everything themselves and wearing many hats. They learn to do everything from accounting to purchasing to daily business management. While it is great to integrate yourself into every area of your business, it can be overwhelming for some entrepreneurs.
For this reason, you many want to weigh the pros and cons of including a business partner early on. A business partner can help carry the load, offer new ideas, and impart much needed motivation on hard days. That being said, it is not always easy to find and choose the right partner, so we’ll discuss some things you can do to make sure you find the best fit.
Best Places To Look For A Business Partner
- Discuss the idea with Friends or family members – Thoughpartnering up with friends and family can have drawbacks, like not feeling able to freely express concerns or criticisms sometimes the people you know best can also make the best parents. You have love for these people for a reason and this can facilitate a smoother work environment. Keep in mind, however, that the pressure of making your business succeed can have a negative impact on your personal relationship. Your best bet is to choose family or friends who’s work ethic and management style you’ve seen firsthand.
- Consider current or former coworkers – Choosing a business partner from among your co-workers can be very convenient and provide advantages especially if your new business is in the same or similar industry as the one you worked in together. Plus, you have the added benefit of already having seen them at work.
- Scour networking events and conferences of the same or related industry – Utilizing professional organization, online groups, and business associations are great places to not only meet people in your industry who can offer advice and support, but can also be the key to finding a valuable business partner.
These are just a few of the places you can find a business partner, here are a few things to contemplate once you have a person in mind, but before you commit.
1.Trust – Choosing a partner, you can trust is one of the most important considerations your business will make since trust is a core part of success. This is one reason why working with someone you already know and like, family, friends, and coworkers, for example, can be beneficial. If you find yourself questioning your potential partner’s trustworthiness early on, trust your instinct and move on.
2.Determination –Picking a partner who is just as determined as you, if not more, to see the business succeed is an often-overlooked asset. There will be hard days where you need a “pick me up” and having someone who can be good on your bad days, and vice versa is key. A passionate partner will share your commitment and your drive.
3.Personality Type: Though the primary goal is business, finding someone with a personality you like, and that is compatible to yours, will add an extra layer of excitement and happiness to coming to work each day. It also adds yet another element of balance to the relationship. You are more likely to listen to ideas and appreciate criticism from someone when you understand that it comes from a place that harbors a desire to help.
Keep in mind that a complimentary personality does not necessarily mean the exact same personality you have, in fact, it rarely means that. If you are not great at public speaking or marketing your business, maybe you want to consider someone who is more outspoken. If you struggle with negotiation, perhaps consider someone who is not afraid to push back hard when decided on prices with vendors. In this area it is a good idea to take inventory of your inherent strengths and weaknesses and find someone to fill in the gaps.
4.Unique Skill Sets. – Though your first instinct and comfort zone may be to only look for partners who are in your exact industry, in many cases a partner can be more valuable when they have different skills, training, and background. It’s important, however, that you choose someone who has a general understanding of your business area and a willingness to learn more. Partnering with someone who has a unique experience can be exceptionally helpful.
Once you have decided on your top candidate for a partner, you should be careful to have an honest conversation with them about the business, expected split of responsibility, and any risks they may not be aware of. This will include mapping out a partnership agreement when the time comes. It should outline obligations, goals, finance dispositions, and the general direction for the business and partnership.
Having a business partner can help lead a business to success, but avoid falling victim to rushing in with someone. It is worse to have a partner that is detrimental to your mental health and business goals, than to have no partner at all.
What Should You Do Next?
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This article is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader nor should it be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact our firm.