Choosing a business partner: What to look out for

There is no secret recipe. As with anything in life, you will have to make the best of the choices you have in front of you.

However, based on my own experiences, I can guarantee that the following will be universally true.

Same mountain, different sides

It’s crucial to partner up with someone who has the same overall goals as you but, more importantly, they need to have both a different and complimentary skill set to you. 

There is no point in having a business partner who can only do what you do. It’s your responsibility to yourself and the business to find someone who completes the skills jigsaw so that together you can handle anything.

In short, the underlying ambition and drive of your business partner must align on a personal level with your own goals and ambitions. Their drivers and passion will be key to you achieving success, so think of it this way: you are both climbing the same mountain but make sure you do it from different sides, that way you’ll always reach the top.

Healthy friction and blood on the walls

If you and your business partners agree all the time then hit the red button!

There needs to be a healthy level of friction, as disagreement is the only way that ideas get tested. Healthy and sometimes heated arguments should be viewed as a positive. It’s better to find a fault with something together, within the four walls of your business, than for the market and customers to find it for you. They are far less forgiving.

It is therefore vital that you accommodate, and even encourage, discussion and debate. Never become nodding donkeys with each other and always listen to each other’s “gut instincts”, even if there are no facts or figures to back something up. If it doesn’t feel right to you then you owe it to the business and to your partner to speak up and say so. 

Remember, it’s easier to get the blood off the office walls than it is to stop your business bleeding in the market.

Trust and trenches

Your business is your baby. Your business partner therefore has to be someone you can trust with your baby. 

Continue reading on page two…

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