Starting a business is difficult, but going it alone can make it more complex. Many entrepreneurs find it appropriate to launch their businesses with partners who have the ability to help lighten the load. If you need a business partner but are wondering how to go about it, here are ways you can find your business partner.
Scope your Needs
The first thing that you need to do is ensure you are clear on the type of skill-sets you will need for the success of your business just as you will do when you are looking for any new hire. For example, you do not need to hire five technologists to join your senior team if all of them are bringing the same skill-sets. Factors that will determine whether the candidates you want to engage will fill the right roles within your company or not include their past startup experience, communication skills, personality fit, credibility, intelligence, industry experience, and passion.
Once you are clear on “what” you need and “who” you need to get your work done well, the next step is to know “where” you can find the right business partner.
Your Personal Network
You start by asking yourself if there is someone you know who can fit those roles. It is great to pick someone whom you know personally and can vouch for . This group includes people your desired industry, individuals in the startup ecosystem, and those with the desired skills
Most expert sources agree that an entrepreneur’s connections are ideal candidates for business partners. According to Jon Weston, Chief Executive Officer of LumiWave and Fox’s business partner, entrepreneurs can reach out to their own professional networks or general networks to get a rich list. He has received useful information and direction from outside his previous companies and encourages others to try a similar approach.
Second Degree Networks and Others
If you fail to find the right candidate in your first degree connections, turn to your second-degree connections. Someone you know can help you get a good partner and help vouch for you and your idea so as to get them to trust and be willing to invest their time to help you.
If this connection does not work as well, you have no choice but look for a stranger who can be your business partner. You can find the right candidate on startup networking websites like BuiltInChicago.org or startup networking events like Techweek.
Ensure Your Partnership Works
It is one thing to find the right business partner and totally different one to make your partnership work. If you are considering that you have found the right one, put strategies to ensure you benefit from your partnership for a long period.
You can achieve this by first of all defining your roles. Clearly, define your roles within the business to make it possible for each partner to spend time effectively. This will also help to prevent the partners from stepping on each others’ toes and save your company a lot of money at the end of the day.
Also, measure your success. Potential business partners should work together on a trial basis to gauge how well their partnership might work. It is advisable to set up some milestones and parameters and try to gauge if what you thought about a potential partner is a reality. Once that is done, conduct frequent interviews to ensure you find out if you are still on the same page. Furthermore, you need to embrace constant, honest communication so as to make it possible to solve problems whenever they arise. At some point, each partner will make one type of mistake or another, and none of you should ever be afraid to bring it up.
The Bottom Line
Just as you should when you are looking for an affordable auto insurance, do thorough homework on all your candidates before entering a contract with them. Always encourage effective communications to eliminate any emotions that can result in dispute when someone points out a mistake. If you seriously consider something’s not right, most likely it is not, and so you must act appropriately and promptly.