Finding the perfect partner can take a while, and not just when you’re looking for romance. When searching for your business soulmate — that magical person with complementary skills who helps expand both your vision and bottom line — there’s more than just chemistry to consider. The search for an ideal collaborator can be a confusing one, but these five key questions might just help you find your perfect match:
What’s on your business partner wishlist?
Think about the kind of partner you’re looking for and what your expectations are for them. Do you want someone to help you raise capital or collaborate at the ideas stage? Be clear with your objectives and expectations — and share them! — so you can find the best possible fit.
Do they complement your personality?
While you write that wishlist, think about your own strengths and weaknesses. It might be tempting want to work with someone just like you, but your business will do better if you focus on finding a partner with skills that complement your own. If you are the outgoing big ideas person, for instance, you might need a detail-oriented introvert to keep you on track.
Are you both looking for the same thing?
It can be beneficial to partner with someone with a lot more business experience, but that type of relationship usually works better as a mentorship (see our tips for finding a mentor). For your business partner, you want someone who is at a similar career stage, with just enough experience to add value as you grow, and also shares your drive to make it successful.
Do you have friends who can introduce you?
Look at the people in your existing network and ask them to recommend potential business partners. Perhaps someone in your industry already knows somebody who is looking to collaborate.
Can the internet help?
It’s not just romance seekers who can benefit from online matchmaking — websites and networking groups such as PartnerUp can also put you in touch with potential collaborators. Startup camps and meet-ups are additional ways to meet possible business partners within your industry.