Choosing the Right Business Partner
The best way to think about choosing the right business partner is to imagine you are going to marry that person. While there are some aspects of marriage that differ from working with a business partner, there are many similarities in terms of your personal relationship. So, here are some tips on what to look for in a business partner.
Avoid Personality Conflicts
What sabotages most marriages are not the big things, but the little personality conflicts that do not get resolved and only build up to cause big trouble. The same is true in choosing a business partner who lets small conflicts fester to the point where they become so big they cannot be resolved. A good business partner is someone that has the same values you hold in the business so that such conflicts can be minimized. This means asking a lot of questions to gauge their personality, but it will be worth the effort.
Qualifications & History
On choosing the right business partner, you’ll want a business partner who has some experience in running a company or working in the same industry. Having a history of owning businesses, especially successful ones, is a good sign that they will do the same for you. In looking for a business partner, their qualifications should include the positive and lack of a strong negative.
For example, someone with a criminal background, poor reputation, financial issues, or having a history of filing lawsuits, or having plenty of lawsuits filed against them are red flags. When you are seeking a business partner, you should take the opportunity to check them out online, especially their social media platforms to get a better idea of their personality.
Find Complementary Skills
The ideal business partners each bring a set of skills that compliments the other. This means that working together, your achievements can be greater than the sum of the skills each of you provides. So, do not look for someone who offers the same skill set as you. After all, you can do that type of work already. Instead, find a business partner who brings in the skills that you may not excel at, so they can complement the business.
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Go in with an Exit Strategy
In other words, you will want to sign the marriage equivalent of a prenuptial agreement. The exit strategy should include one of the three basic options for leaving the partnership;
- Go Public
- Sell Business to Third Party
- Pass Ownership to Family Member and Offer a Buyout
Keep in mind that your exit strategy will shape how you run your business. For example, if the strategy you choose is to sell your business to a third party after five years, then your entire focus for running the business will be to maximize success within that time frame. Alternatively, passing ownership along to another family member means focusing on long-term goals over the decades. While no one is perfect, you can avoid choosing a business partner who is not qualified or worse, incompatible with your business goals. By being diligent, thorough, and following the tips on how to choose a business partner, you can maximize your chances of choosing the right business partner for your needs.
After you've decided that a business partner is the way to go? What if you have no one in mind? Well you can always join local entrepreneur groups and see if you can find a match. Your other option is to use a web service to help you find the perfect business partner.