“In many ways, a business partnership is similar to a marriage. At minimum, you need absolute trust in your partner.”
Heidi Messer, founder of Collective.
Here, at SBN we have built upon the principles of trust, as we understand that trust is a vital ingredient to business success. We also recognise the importance of knowing what to look for when considering a prospective partner in your business ventures.
So, use these 7 Questions to help you find the right business partner for you:
What does your gut say?
Trust your initial gut instinct, it rarely lies. You have to make sure that it is someone you instinctively trust. We would advise that a contract be written up of course, but should it take a little longer to draw up, would you still be able to comfortably go ahead and move forward with them? Anyone can be a partner when things are going well, but will they be committed to go through the trenches when times are a little more challenging? You’d rather listen to your gut, than waste more time kicking yourself later on.
Does this person complement you?
It’s always great having someone who can bring a different skill set, perspective and/ or expertise to the table. You can conquer the world and meet half way. Are your weaknesses their strengths and vice versa? Are they talented in ways you are not? Do they have an area of expertise that can massively contribute to the business? These are all bonuses.
Do you view the world through a similar lens?
If you do, it won’t ensure that you see eye to eye on everything, but it most certainly helps. Check that your incentives are aligned with your partners; this will help you work together towards the same objectives.
Do they share your values, entrepreneurial spirit and vision?
Be certain that you are on the same wavelength for all three of these pointers. If you have a different idea of what you’re going to accomplish than your partner does, it’s going to turn into two people working on two separate projects. Make sure that you’re a unified team playing the same game; otherwise the end project is most likely going to be messy, stressful and unsuccessful.
Do you enjoy spending time them?
When you initially start your business, communication will naturally be at an all time high. If you would rather prefer watching paint dry than being in a room with them, then this probably isn’t the right partner for you. You need to know how much of a role this person will play in your life personally and professionally. We recommend that you not only have the one goal to “make money” together but “have fun” with them too, especially on those more stressful days.
Do you respect them?
This is perhaps one of the most necessary elements to forming a successful partnership. You need to have a mutual respect for them as well as being able to trust them. A business relationship is still a relationship no matter how professional it is. Do you respect their ethics? Do you respect what they stand for? What is their reputation with people like? You should be able to rely on your partner to build and help you sustain both a satisfactory, healthy work environment.
Are they financially stable?
Okay, so they don’t have to be a millionaire, but are they responsible with the finances they currently have? It’s in your best interest to choose a partner who isn’t reckless or lackadaisical towards financial issues which could be potentially detrimental to the future of the business. A great business partner is someone who thinks long term and doesn’t encourage unethical business tactics for ‘successes. Noticing instability in someone’s personal finances can be a good indicator that they would bring the same baggage to the company.
With these questions carefully considered, you will be on the way to selecting the best business partner for you.