Many entrepreneurs strike out on their own originally, but eventually realize that they need help as they find success. In some cases, this help means hiring the right people for your team. In other cases, though, the best approach is to partner up with another business-savvy person.
Finding a business partner you can trust can be a chancy venture, but the rewards, when you pick correctly, can be great.
The Advantages Of Having A Business Partner
First of all, you need to decide if it makes sense for you to get a business partner. I didn't really think about getting a business partner (I didn't even think of my blogging as a business!) until two years ago, at the inaugural Financial Blogger Conference in 2011. Tom Drake suggested that we partner on creating a site, and now he's a partner on a second site that I own, as well as a helpful partner for the launch of my book.
When you work with a business partner, you have the opportunity to find someone who serves as a complement to your strengths and weaknesses. This means that you have more time to focus on the things you do well, while your partner works on the things that he or she does well. You have the chance to create a situation in which your combined effort is greater than the sum of your individual parts.
On top of that, a business partner helps you spread the work around. You are less likely to run yourself ragged and experience burnout when you have a business partner. I know that my business has benefitted from including Tom, and I would be lost without him.
So, if you are looking for a business partner, what should you look for? You don't want to choose wrong, or you could end up in a great deal of trouble.
Traits Of A Good Business Partner
Everyone looks for something different in a business partner. In my case, an ability to handle the backend of a web site, and monetize it, was extremely important. You might have other requirements for your own business partner. However, no matter what specific traits and expertise you are looking for, here are some traits common to a solid business partner:
- Shares your enthusiasm: It helps if you are both enthusiastic about the venture and about the partnership. You want someone who is passionate as well, so you can encourage each other.
- Credibility: Make sure your partner has a degree of credibility. You don't want to discover that your business partner has a history of shady dealings. You want someone on the up-and-up who want sully your own reputation.
- Financial stability: While your business partner doesn't need to be very rich, it does help if he or she has the finances under control. Even being debt-free isn't a requirement. But a measure of stability, and an ability to manage their own finances with competence is important, since you will be taking risks together.
- Trustworthy: You have to trust and respect your business partner. Without that trust and respect, your partnership is likely to deteriorate.
Think about the situation before you commit to a business partner. Identify someone with whom you work well, and who has solid traits.
What do you look for in a business partner?