Getting a partner for your business has its pros and cons. On the one side, doing business together with someone means you share your profit and lose the independence you had as a sole owner of the company – now there’s another person involved in making the decisions. On the other hand, partnering up means sharing responsibilities and duties, not to mention the help you may get from your associate in terms of fresh ideas and new perspectives. However, finding the right person for such an endeavor is not easy at all, and you should cover several important steps in the process.
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1. Sharing visions and values
Firstly, you need to make sure that the person in questions shares some basic conceptions and ideas with you, when it comes to everyday issues as well as business-wise. If one of the partners shows much more enthusiasm and devotion than the other one, or if one of them is much more inclined to take risks or to choose to invest in expanding the business rather than playing it safe, then this might not be the best alliance.
It’s very important to clear these things up before starting to work together. Not sharing visions and values might not be too important in everyday workings of the company, but in critical moments when the company is at some kind of breaking point and big decisions are to be made, this might turn out to be a huge problem.
Once you’ve established that you and your partner will get along when it comes to most general business plans and ideas, it’s time for you to evaluate which exact benefits and resources the other person brings to the table. When it comes to this, having a well-connected person by your side is invaluable. Someone with a well-developed business network and a long client list can boost your business substantially in a very short period of time. At last, someone who’s got a lot of friends and acquaintances in the industry is probably a person who’s good with people, has solid business experience, a decent bag of tricks and knows who you can turn to when things get bad.
3. Check who you’re dealing with
This might not seem like the friendliest of moves, but it’s a must. You should always ask around about your potential partner – if this person is someone who’s already in the business, then turning to people in the industry to hear about their impressions and experiences with him or her might be of big help. However, this is not enough. Checking your future associate’s criminal record is more than legitimate – nowadays, it’s quite easy to get an official police clearance certificate online almost instantly, in a matter of a day or two.
No matter how trustworthy and reliable someone seems, there’s no room for risk here. Even your friends, maybe with the exception of those who you’ve known your whole life, should be subject to this – keeping your friendship and business matters separate is the only possible starting point of a successful business partnership.
4. Diversity of skills
It’s vital that you and your partner have different skills and competencies that complement each other perfectly. This is true when it comes to temperament and personality as well – having different perspectives when resolving business issues can be quite useful, as long as you share the same goals and values.
For instance, the more imaginative of the two can deal more with the creative side of work, while the more disciplined and patient one can take care of developing it in detail and putting it to work. Also, one of the partners with skills in accounting and finances could manage your sales and your budget, while the more charismatic of the two could be handling employees and clients. You know your qualities and your shortcomings best and should be able to find someone who can fit in with you perfectly.
5. Right personality
It’s not really all about business – there’s also a personal side to the partnership. You and your partner might both be really good in what you do, share the goals and values, and still be in a constant, unproductive conflict. Having disagreements and differences is no big deal, but if these arguments are too often fruitless and done just for the sake of fighting, then you and your partner might have characters that don’t really match.
If this happens, you’ll be just wasting a lot of time and energy without getting any real results. It’s very difficult to predict up front if your personalities are going to work when put together – have in mind that even if you’re friends with your partner, it might mean nothing, since business partnership represents a whole new type of relationship between two people.
This is the reason why one of the best criteria for making the right choice is previous work experience with your potential partner. The fact that you previously worked together on some kind of a project and that you saw how this person behaves in a business environment can be very valuable. In general, the bottom line is that you should be very careful and methodical when searching for someone to run a business with. But if you made all the necessary assessments of the person and you still think a partnership is a good idea – go for it.
My name is Alex Williams. I am a journalism graduate and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to the wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog | Facebook | Twitter