How Much Does a Business Partner Cost?
Okay, so were not actually talking about buying a person, but there are certainly costs to consider when choosing a business partner. You have the perfect business idea. There’s just one problem: You don’t have the perfect person to help you take the idea from concept to execution. You’re not alone. Finding the right person to be your business partner is a lot trickier than picking out a new suit—not to mention the stakes are a lot higher. Choosing the wrong person to be your business partner can truly make the difference between success and failure. Luckily for you, there are plenty of experts and entrepreneurs who have seen it all when it comes to winning and losing partnerships. These are 5 tips to keep in mind when choosing a business partner. Hopefully, this decision will allow you to retire comfortably and avoid the cost of filing for bankruptcy.
Spend Time Together Outside a Work Setting
If there’s one mistake you need to avoid when choosing a business partner, it’s deciding on someone who you don’t really know, or only know in one type of situation. Someone might be a smooth talker while in the office, but run their mouth in the wrong kinds of ways after hours. These are the sorts of things you will only discover by spending time with a potential business partner in a non-formal setting. This means a lot of time. You should take an international vacation with your potential business partner. You will learn a lot about the person—and about how you work together—when you’re both put into an unfamiliar situation.
Choose Someone Like-Minded, but with Different Skills
It should go without saying that your business partnership won’t be particularly successful if you can’t seem to agree on anything. If your potential partner refuses to see eye-to-eye with you on issues like whether or not to get business insurance, it’s time to move on to the next candidate. Working with someone who shares your general life values will simplify almost every aspect of running your business.
On the flipside of this sentiment, it’s also beneficial to have a partner whose skills compliment your own. If one of you is technologically inclined, the other might excel at marketing. Having similar world views, but balanced skills, is a good sign that you and a potential business partner might be a match.
Communication Is Key
You’re going to have a tough time running a business if you and your partner don’t have meshing communication styles. This doesn’t mean you both need to be constantly talking to each other; it means you need to be open, honest and clear about anything and everything that might have an effect on the wellbeing of your company. Poor communication leads to distrust, which is toxic to any partnership.
They Need to Share Your Excitement and Commitment for the Company
If you have a gut feeling that you care more about the future viability of your company than a potential partner, don’t waste any more time courting them. Both players need to be equally invested in order to have a healthy business partnership. One red flag can be if the potential partner already has multiple other business ventures. While someone like this can be an invaluable partner if they share your passion for the project you’ll be working on together, they can also have a tendency to spend too much time on other endeavors—putting yours on the backburner.
Look for Someone Who’s Financially Secure
While not always indicative of whether or not a business partnership will work, your counterpart’s personal finances can certainly play a role in the success of your company. One great reason to choose a partner with their finances in order is that they may be willing to put their own capital toward the company, or lend it money in times of need. Their personal money habits can also be indicative of how they will spend the business’s money. You don’t want someone who can’t balance a budget.
Choosing a business partner is one of the most important decisions you will make in your entire life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time business owner or a venture capitalist; picking the wrong partner can lead you to financial turmoil and a ruined reputation. Adhere to these tips and you will be much more likely to pick a partner who will help lead your business to success.