5 Characteristics to Look for in a Business Partner

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There is power in numbers. For business owners and startup founders, having a partner to rely on is very important. With the right person in the fold, you can instantly increase the potential of your business venture and pave the way for new opportunities. But the other side of this equation is also true. The wrong business partner can wreak havoc on your business and threaten to damage it from the inside out.

Calling a business partner is not something you take lightly. It’s not like going to the YMCA to play a game of basketball and partnering with the first person who seems to have a game. There is a lot of research, planning and due diligence that needs to be done.

When looking for the perfect option for your business, I recommend that you look for the following five aspects:

1. Reliability

A business partner is nothing without trust. If you can’t trust your partner, everything else is just noise. The challenge is to try to determine someone’s level of trust when you don’t have a pre-existing relationship.

Reliability assessment is often reduced to conversation and history. You need to have several conversations with any potential partner: sit down and discuss life, beliefs, vision, background, situational factors, and so on. You should also have conversations with people who know you personally and professionally. Notice the way people talk about your future partner. Do they seem to feel positive, negative, or indifferent?

His career also says a lot. Review your resume and the companies you’ve worked for in the past. Were these companies and / or departments better off when they left? Were there any questionable decisions that act as red warning flags? Don’t be afraid to dig.

Related: 10 characteristics of unstoppable associations

2. Compatibility

You will spend a lot of time with your business partner. You don’t have to be best friends, but you do have to be compatible. There needs to be a healthy dynamic that allows both of us to work together to improve the business. Assessing potential compatibility is often reduced to an intestinal sensation.

3. Complementary skills

While compatibility is important, you don’t want to hire a business partner with the same set of skills. This will not move the needle much for your business. The ideal is to find someone who has complementary skills. For example, if you are good at product innovation and development, you may want a founder who has more experience in sales and marketing.

Ideally, you and your business partner should oversee separate parts of the business. This allows you to specialize each in one area and avoid micro-management of the other.

4. Great network

Networking is an important part of starting and growing a business. In the early stages, it depends a lot on your network to establish partnerships and make your new business known. And as you grow, your network will open the door to new opportunities.

Even if you already have your own network, you want a partner who also has a great network. This gives you instant access to hundreds or thousands of other connections. Between your network and yours, you will notice an instant increase in potential.

Related: Top 9 Reasons Why Business Associations Fail

5. Creativity and problem-solving skills

As you know, entrepreneurship is about solving problems. Small problems, big problems, emergencies, chronic problems – your business will face them all. You need a business partner to solve problems. And at the heart of problem solving is creativity.

Creativity cannot be taught. You can put someone in an environment where they bring out their best creative qualities, but it’s not like you can teach someone what it takes to be creative. When you come to a couple, choose your brain about different ideas, concepts, and opportunities to see how they approach problems. This will give you a very strong indication of how creative they are.

Summoning a business partner is not something to be taken lightly. If you want to think about it through the analogy of relationships, you are not only asking for an appointment with someone, but you are offering a marriage proposal. If things go awry, breaking this business relationship will be stressful, costly, and very consequential. But if things go well, there is no limit to your potential together. Do your due diligence and do not appreciate the decision.

Related: 6 things to consider before partnering

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