Many businesses are built on the genius of not one person but many. On the flip side, many businesses fail because partnerships fail — creating hostilities and disagreements. If you find yourself in the position of looking for a business partner, here are a few things to look for so you create a solid partnership that will benefit not only you but also your business.
Trust Your Partner
Seems pretty straightforward but we are human and capable of being deceived or manipulated. Make sure you have a genuine connection with your partner and that he or she is putting forth an honest effort in everything. Sit down often with your partner to discuss business strategies, doubts, and milestones. The better you two can communicate, the better your business will run.
Test out how you might work together. Go to some relevant events, meet with each others mentor, and see how you interact with others you both know. This is a big decision – take the necessary time. They say a year is always a good marker of an individual’s true character, so if you can, use a year or so to figure out if you can stand to work with them on a regular and intimate basis.
Study Your Partner
Do some fact checking and make sure your partner is who he/she says they are. Double check references, study their past projects (successes and failures), and get a feel for how others react when you mention his/her name. All of these simple and easy checks can make you much more aware about your ability to handle a business together.
Humor Your Partner
Last but certainly not least, make sure you can have a good laugh with your partner. You two will be spending a lot of time together and if you two don’t share similar senses of humor, you’re in for plenty of long nights. At the end of the day, the two (or however many of you there are) need to be able to brush off the stress and be confident in tomorrow.
Choosing a partner isn’t rocket science but it most certainly is one of the most important decisions you will ever make and take the time and energy and research to make sure you make the right decision. Have any other tips for choosing a business partner? Tweet @StarterNoise to let us know.
Derek Rundell, is a successful business leader, operator, and serial entrepreneur. Derek has founded, managed and sold businesses in the technology, media and finance industries. He sits on several boards and serves as an advisor/investor to numerous established businesses and startups. Startups are Derek’s real passion, and in addition to building his own portfolio of technology, media and financial ventures, he invests in and mentors startups and entrepreneurs. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping other businesses succeed.