Finding the Best Business Partner for Your Company

Going into business alone has its advantages, but it can also be intimidating. There are a number of reasons a business partner can improve your business endeavors, but there are a lot of factors you should consider first. The wrong partner can do a lot more damage than having no partner at all. If you want to avoid the potential calamities, here’s how to choose among your prospective business partners.

If you’re seeking a partner, you’ve likely already determined that your business will require something you can’t bring to the table. If you haven’t, think seriously about whether or not you absolutely need to bring another individual on board. What things does your business need from a partner, and are they worth any potential downsides? Establishing your personal criteria can help narrow down your initial choices quickly.

Don’t be afraid to ask more personal questions of your candidates. The decisions they make in their personal lives can be reflective of your future business relationship. How well do they handle time management, and how do they expect time for the business to be distributed between the two of you? If the effort isn’t equal, why would you share a partnership? Do the people in their lives support their goals and business ventures? If not, outside factors could wear down their resolve and have devastating consequences for the company.

Ask your potential business partners about their financial habits. If they don’t care enough to maintain their own good financial standing, how do you think they’ll treat your business? Past business experiences can be a good way to gauge character as well. A failed business doesn’t automatically mean they’ll make poor partners, but pay attention to how difficulties were handled and overcome. Since you’re the one with the idea for the business, you likely have the passion and drive to see it through. If the same can’t be said for your partner, how will the two of you interact when things get difficult?

Banks and insurance companies assess risk for a reason. Starting a business comes with a lot of risks, and if the prospective partners can’t say how they’d handle a difficult situation, they might blow of obstacles in real life, too. This can especially be the case if outside pressures and responsibilities hold a higher priority.

While choosing among a list of business partners may take some time, don’t rush the process of assessing your best fit. The right business partner should complement your own abilities and mirror your own passion and commitment for your venture. If you can find those criteria in a partner, the two of you should be able to start your company off right.

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