The right business partner is instrumental to a successful business venture. Where would Google be today if Larry Page didn’t meet Sergey Brin? What would Apple be if not for the partnership between Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak? Yet while some partnerships click instantly, not all entrepreneurs are lucky enough to find the perfect business partner from day one. Below are four tips to help you find and vet your potential co-founder candidates.
Figure out What Type You’re Looking For:
Are you looking for someone who can throw facts and figures or someone who can come up with new creative angles and ideas? Do you need someone to help you figure out the bigger picture? Perhaps someone who can handle the business side while you focus on the technical aspects of your product or service? Knowing what type of business partner to look for beforehand makes it easier and more straightforward to filter through potential candidates. Business partners come in all packages, with some being skillful talkers who can negotiate their way into advantageous positions while others are more of a visionary who can come up with revolutionary and out-of-the-box ideas.
Tap Into Your Circle of Coworkers:
One of your past or present coworkers could be the business partner you’re looking for. Not only is this convenient, but tapping into your circle of coworkers can also give you a tremendous advantage compared to choosing a co-founder you only met yesterday. You already know or at least have a basic idea of how a past or present coworker operates. You know if they are hardworking or lazy, if they are honest or dishonest, and if they have the drive and passion or not. Send prospective co-founders a text or email or meet up with them to discuss your business idea. Only confide with people who you completely trust otherwise they might steal your idea for themselves.
Consider Partnering With a Family Member:
You always hear cautionary tales of business owners and entrepreneurs who partnered with a family member and failed. Nonetheless, there are many advantages to partnering with a close family member, one of which is that it helps you precisely identify value alignment. Sharing values is arguably one of the most essential factors that drive entrepreneurs to achieve incredible feats, take great risks, and make difficult sacrifices. That being said, working with a family member is a delicate process. While you are connected by blood, make it clear from the beginning that it’s all business.
Try it out:
You can try out your newfound partnership for a few weeks or months and see how it goes. An even more short-term solution is to start a small side project with your prospective co-founder. It takes only a few discussions with him/her to get a strong sense of whether or not the partnership has a foundation and future.
Choosing the perfect business partner takes time and some trial and error in many cases. Nonetheless, it is a major decision that will have a tremendous impact towards your business’ long-term success.
Yorkville Advisors, LLC is a privately owned and operated hedge fund sponsor that was founded in 2001.