Initiating a business on your own can be challenging. In the early days of the startup, you’ll have to wear different hats—ranging from sales and marketing to financial administration and management—as well as the need to stay enthusiastic and committed about the business. That’s the reason several entrepreneurs search for a business partner who can share their workload and get the business off the ground.
Finding a business partner can be a critical part of the business’s growth and success. A wrong partner can spell disaster for the business. Thus, personality clashes, different visions for the future, and varying work ethics can cause the partners to fall out and collapse the business. On the other hand, an efficient business partner can facilitate the running of the business more smoothly, so that work can be balanced between the partners.
How to Find Business Partners?
You can find business partners from any platform, either online or from the offline world.
Off-Net Ways to Find Business Partner
Typically, people find it difficult to trust a professional based on their internet profiles to select as a business partner. So, many people prefer meeting a professional in person. Some of the ideas for finding business partners from the real world are given below:
Ask from the people around you.
Ask in your social circle to see any credible technical people looking for business partnerships. In this pursuit, LinkedIn, family and relative’s reunion, university’s alumni network, and official parties can be helpful.
Join Meetup Groups
Several connecting websites like startupdigest.com and meetup.com help connect people with like-minded interests. After searching for technical people, entrepreneurs, startups, and other professions, you can find and meet the potential connections in person to see if you are compatible with a business partnership.
Attend Startup Conferences and Events
Numerous startup conferences and events are organized in the country, which helps people find what’s appropriate for them. You can meet different types of professionals in a structured setting. This improves the chances of finding a potential business partner.
Attend Startup Camps
Startup camps like Startup Weekend facilitate you by connecting you with people with similar interests and visions to expedite your entrepreneur venture.
Search for Business Partners Online
Several websites have been established to help businessmen meet their potential partners.
- Cofound.org: This platform encourages you to find the exact skills and experience you are searching for in your future business partners.
- CoFoundersLab: It helps by finding the right people for your business with its extensive network of professional and entrepreneurial users.
- techVenture’s Cofounder Network: This is a well-organized, structured, and credible platform for serious entrepreneurs who are determined to take their startup off the grounds. The interested people are required to apply to get access to the services.
- Founder2be: This platform hosts designers, developers, marketers, and cofounders for the perfect business partners.
- FounderDating: The premium online network is for serious entrepreneurs to connect with potential partners. As expected, this website also requires a formal application and fees to get access.
- Techcofounder: You can look for business partners by posting an ad for your startup to recruit the most appropriate person.
The Dos of Finding Business Partners
Interests, Visions, and Skills.
Entrepreneurs launch their startups for various reasons, such as financial independence, passion, and professional growth. The basic foundation of establishing a business partnership is the compatibility of personalities between the partners. Ideally, you need to find a business partner who is willing to share the position based on mutual risks, challenges, employee relations, and crisis management.
The best method to evaluate the potential partner’s values is to ask some valid and solid questions to assess their values and work ethics. This can include discussing their motivation for the business ideas, their ways of handling failure, expectations from the business, and general vision regarding the work dynamics. It will also help assess their plans for the coming year and their anticipated outcomes for the next five years.
A person should be included in a business partnership if they bring one of the two valuable resources: capital and/or complementary skills. As obvious as it looks, capital is undoubtedly an essential part of the partnership. The next important thing in entrepreneurship is selecting a partner with corresponding skills, for instance, in any online collaboration, such as affiliate programs. One partner offers a product or service, and the other partner drives traffic to the said product or service.
Suppose both the partners only offer the products or services. In that case, sales are expected to be slower than when the partners have individual roles. Likewise, it is appropriate to find business partners who complement the skillset of the owners and founders of the business. Thus, it improves the chances of growth and success of the startup.
It is important to ensure that both parties understand the exit strategy and also agree with it. An exit strategy is an agreement between the partners to settle on for cashing out of the business. It is critical as it morphs all valuable decisions for the company. For instance, if you plan for the business to pass it down to your children, but the partners are determined on an IPO, you are in for a legal lawsuit. So, it is best to consider this factor before looking for a business partner.
Due diligence is crucial in the evaluation of a potential business partner. You need to check in the history of the past business ownership and partnership and any alarming criminal history under their name. You’ll have to check the reputation of the candidate in the market, that they are consistent and don’t have commitment issues with their work. Moreover, you’ll have to examine the financial standing of the candidate.
Of course, no one is perfect, but prior research and diligence can help save you from any future troubles. The time to find problems in the potential partnerships is before committing to them, instead of when the banks investigate your business.
Do Conduct a Trial Run
This factor may not always seem practical to take the potential business partner on a trial run. However, this strategy is worthwhile if you can successfully pull it off. Performing a trial campaign shows whether the potential candidate is an empty optimist or is capable of delivering daily
The Don’ts of Finding Business Partners
Don’t Look for Partners for Inappropriate Reasons
You should be clear on why you are interested in the startup and why you need a business partner. These questions can be a key to ruling out all the inappropriate and wrong reasons for adding a business partner. If you are uncertain about the reason for your own business and the need for a partner, you might be in for a challenging run in the future.
Don’t Agree on Unequal Commitment
Bitterness can sink the business partnership faster than any other factor. This bitterness within the partnership can stem from unequal commitments. If the partners share the benefits and profits equally, then it’s only fair to share the working hours and load equally. Though an equal commitment is not a necessary legal requirement, you must view it as a practical option. Therefore, all partners should consider having similar commitment levels.
Don’t Rely on Verbal and Handshake Deals
It’s always best to have a lawyer draft the business partnership agreement for the company. The agreement should include the contribution of each party to the company, the obligations of the parties, the duration of parties to remain with the company to be vested in the percentage of their agreed ownership, condition on firing the partners, and other issues unique to the business.
Benefits of Efficient Business Partners
A good business partner brings about a great number of benefits. Efficient business partners bring additional skillsets which you may lack. For instance, you don’t have sales or marketing experience, you may want to collaborate with a partner to handle this area of the startup. Having business partners also implies a wealth of ideas the partners can complement the vision for the business and help it succeed.
Fill in The Skills Gap
Every professional has specific tasks and responsibilities they enjoy doing, while there are other activities they completely dread to do. Or, even if you think you can do it all by yourself, it is better to have a business partner who can complement your skills and experiences. Moreover, different management styles can help in the growth of the business. As time progresses, a variety of management styles can come in handy and work better than other styles.
Provide A Strong Companionship on the Startup Adventure
Startups can be stressful, and along the way, you may encounter some bumps on the road. Dealing with these challenges can be hard if you go solo. A business partner can make things a lot easier and understandable as you are sharing the journey. A business partnership guarantees a strong companionship as the parties can brainstorm and process the hurdles from an identical viewpoint. It so happens because you are facing the same challenges, the same risks, and the same potential outcomes and rewards.
Business Partners Have You Covered
A firm business partnership is laid on the foundation that ensures standing by each other through thick and thin. If you are running a business, there will be times when you are down in the dirt and experience tired and lazy days. On such occasions, a partner who can understand and share the workload can be supportive and inspiring.
Help with The Blind Spots
Everyone has blind spots, the areas that are often unseen and unrecognized by ourselves. These blind spots may be observed in the ways we manage, implement the plans and projects, and go through the process. A business partner can help open your eyes to the things you may overlook. It can include anything from personnel issues to launching a product or service.
The addition of valuable business partners can be expedited in the success and growth of your business. While finding a business partner is beneficial for your company, it is undoubtedly a challenging task. You may find a suitable business partner within your social circle, including colleagues, friends, and family. Conversely, you can take a risk and opt for looking beyond the circle and seek the service of online platforms that help in connecting entrepreneurs. It is important to have a determined partner who has a similar vision and interest in the common cause and business.