Running a startup isn’t easy. Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone. An effective business partner can make a huge difference for you and your startup.
Before settling on a partner, we recommend that you consider the following:
What gap are they filling? There will be aspects of your business where you aren’t an expert. While this is perfectly fine, you should work to identify these weaknesses and fill the gaps. If selling isn’t your strong suit, align yourself with a salesperson. If you’re into the technical side of your business, find someone to focus on the creative.
Are they committed? Startups require a lot of hard work and time (believe me, I know). However, a good partner should be just as willing as you to do some heavy lifting. If they aren’t as committed to the business as you, you probably shouldn’t have them on your team.
Are they serious? We love someone with a good sense of humor. However, an effective business partner needs to know when to be serious. Fun and games can make your startup experience enjoyable, but they can also ruin your business. At the end of the day, it’s all about balance.
Are they a team-player? If their past is full of drama and turbulent professional relationships, it’s probably a good idea to stay clear. If they couldn’t work with others before, there’s a strong likelihood that they’ll eventually clash with you.
Do they ask questions? Like in any relationship, you can usually gauge someone’s interest by the questions they ask. The same rules apply with your business; if they don’t ask the right questions (or any questions), they probably don’t care enough about your idea.
Do they share your values and entrepreneurial spirit? It takes a certain kind of person to turn an idea into a successful business. Make sure your partner shares your values, drive, and passion.
What’s their financial status? Everyone knows that before getting married, it’s a good idea to know your significant other’s financial situation. The same is true for a potential business partner. If you’re bootstrapping your startup, you don’t want someone who will become a financial strain on your growth.
Do they respect you? You should choose a business partner who respects what you bring to the table. If they don’t value you or your expertise, then they also won’t respect your business.