Most start-ups or aspiring entrepreneurs think they can do it all by themselves. Well, some do pretty well by themselves while others do better when working with a partner.
As they say, two heads are better than one. A business enterprise is not easy when you are a one-man show. There is a lot that comes with starting and running a business and having the right business partner can make the journey easier.
With the right business partner, you have someone who is passionate about your business idea as you are. Someone you can consult, brainstorm with, and share your ideas with to see if they can actually work.
When working with a business partner, you get to be on the receiving side of their skills and knowledge. You have someone to share responsibilities with and be accountable to.
A business partner is a plus for your business entity just like an asset and you don’t have to wear all the hats by yourself. Therefore, if you are a start-up entrepreneur, consider getting yourself a business partner to share the hats with.
Finding a business partner is not easy. It’s like looking for a shoe, you have to find the right fit for you. You get into a wrong partnership and your business suffers the consequences. A business partnership is a serious partnership considering different factors such as money, time, etc.
Any fruitful partnership in life requires trust and friendship, and so does a business partnership.
How/where you can find a business partner.
When finding a business partner, you have to be intentional about it.
There are a few ways you can find the right partner for your business if you don’t want to be a solopreneur.
You can find a business partner in your circle of friends, acquaintances, family, former work colleagues, or a stranger in a networking event or a coffee shop.
Work Colleagues from the present or the past.
People form long term friendships and networks in their workplaces and you can get a business partnership.
Colleagues you have worked with before or are working with now can make great business partners as you have interacted with them in a formal setting. You know their work ethics and their character when it comes to work and serious matters.
You know if they are hardworking or not, if they are good time managers or not. It’s much easier to partner with someone you have worked with before than someone you haven’t.
If they did something, you would easily understand where they are coming from. You already have a rapport with them and know how the two of you can work together.
A friend – be very cautious though.
This is another easier path to take although some business experts advise against it.
Some of the successful businesses/ companies were started by friends who partnered together.
When choosing to get into a business partnership with a friend, choose one that compliments you and make sure you are on the same page. Communication is going to be the backbone of this partnership. Assumptions can quickly kill the partnership and friendship too.
Before you get into a business partnership with a friend, put into consideration the fact that the friendship might end. The end of the friendship is bound to highly affect your business partnership in many ways. – Financially and even losing some customers or clients.
Some friends are better off as just friends and not partners. Therefore, choose a friend(s), you can team up and work with.
This is another easy way to find a business partner but also considered disastrous but doesn’t have to.
It’s like getting into partnership with friends. However with family members, if the business side of things goes south, the other relationship cannot be ‘dissolved’ easily.
Most businesses are literally family businesses as most people choose to get into partnerships with siblings, relatives, parents, or spouses.
Your sibling is likely going to pull more weight into your business than friends. For some reason, their work ethic is somehow similar to yours as you have been brought up in the same environment.
Just like partnering with a friend, communication is also key in a partnership with a sibling, a spouse, or another family member.
Not all members of your family can be a business partner. Therefore, get into partnership with a member who shares your vision and mission for your business. Someone who will put as much effort into the business as you do.
For this type of partnership to prosper, there need to be respect, trust, and understanding how each analyses situations.
Networking is a perfect way of finding a business partner(s).
You can do that by networking in social events and online through groups and virtual events.
Participating in Webinars is a good way of meeting business-minded individuals who could potentially be your business partners.
Co-working spaces and coffee shops are also great places to network and get to know people who would also introduce you to other people in their networks.
A person you click with in a social or corporate space can have skills that complement yours and make a great partnership.
Consider joining virtual groups and engage in those spaces or platforms intentionally. Join associations especially those in line with your interests. In such spaces, you are highly going to meet with someone you can team up and work with.
Industry trainings or a business course.
They say that birds of the same feather flock together. Business-minded people tend to do the same things especially trainings and courses.
All entrepreneurs want to better their knowledge and skills and run their business better. As you attend entrepreneurship trainings or as you take the short business management course, be on the lookout for potential partners.
In trainings, you will come across someone interested in partnering with you after listening to your business idea.
As you expand your business and entrepreneurship knowledge, expand your networks with business-minded people.
How to know they are the one.
Finding a business partner, whether, from the colleague pool, your circle of friends, from your family, or from networking is not easy.
However, there are key things to consider to make sure they are right for a business partnership.
- A partner you can trust.
- A partner who complements your personality.
- A partner who understands ‘boundaries’ and ‘parameters’ especially if they are family or a friend.
- A partner with the hunger and passion to succeed and put in the weight.
- A partner with a different skill-set and knowledge from yours.
A good business partnership is an asset to your business. It breeds success by bringing different skills and a different yet the same and supportive voice to your business.
A good business partner will put their weight into the business and do their best to see it succeed. Take your time to choose a good business partner to avoid getting into a partnership with the wrong partner.
A partner who does not support your business vision and is not on the same page as you will be a liability to your business. Don’t choose partners whose personality clash with yours or with different goals and wrong motivations.
Find a business partner you can mesh with in terms of personality and working style. This partner will be an asset to your business.