Finding a suitable business partner is a lot like finding the ideal significant other. For a partnership to work, there needs to be a shared vision as well as similar goals and interests. However, like with a partner in a relationship, there’s more to consider than just shared interests and the ability to get along.
One partnership with a happy ending is that of Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who met at university and bonded over their passion for data mining. The pair grew to share similar visions for their company and now, Google is not just a search engine, but a multinational corporation valued at over US $360 billion.
There is little doubt that a partnership can be valuable. Here are five questions to ask yourself before entering into a business partnership:
1. Do I really even need a business partner?
If you’ve got the time, skills and money to build a successful business on your own, then go for it. It’s only when an individual is lacking one of the above, particularly financial resources, that it’s time to consider a business partnership. Another option is to approach investors like Business Partners Limited which will provide finance for your business.
2. Have you worked together before?
If your prospective partner is someone you have, or previously had, a good working relationship with, then you already have an idea of what to expect. Before you dive right into a partnership with someone you don’t know, consider taking on a small project together to get a feel for each other’s work ethic, strengths and weaknesses.
3. Does your partner think just like you?
The answer should be No. While it’s vital to a business partnership to agree on business decisions, you need to be able to see the business from different perspectives. If you’re a creative genius, then it’s best to have a strategic-thinking partner. Or, if you’re the sky is the limit type, your partner should be more grounded and detail-oriented.
4. Will this person deliver what you need?
Your best friend may be a great people person and be able to talk you into anything, but that doesn’t mean he or she would be good as a business partner. Your partner needs to be reliable, focused and as passionate about your business as you are because start-ups have limited resources and can’t waste them on non-performers.
5. How will disputes be settled?
In the event you and your partner do not agree, it is important to decide on how the matter will be dealt with beforehand. Does one person hold the final say, or is it by vote (if there are more than two partners)? It is better to avoid situations where your business is unable to move forward because partners can’t agree.