Choosing a business partner isn’t to be taken lightly. You’ll have to work well together through thick and thin. So before you commit to a partner, make sure all these boxes are checked:
Agreeing on your long and short term goals is critical. How long do you both want to be involved in the business? How big do you want to grow in terms of sales, staff, and locations? What’s the most important thing to focus on right now? Six months from now? A year from now? Make sure you have clear and direct conversations about these things before jumping in together. Alignment is key.
Two heads are better than one, especially when you have skills that complement each other. If you’re great at marketing and branding but lacking in business savvy, you’ll want to look for someone who has expertise in that area. Make a list of all your strengths and weaknesses, then look for a partner who can support areas where you’re not as strong.
The right values and attitude
In many ways a business partnership is like a marriage — misunderstandings and arguments are inevitable. To get through the rough patches, you’ll need mutual respect and shared values. Make sure you trust each other.
Interest in your industry
This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s also one many may overlook. If you’re opening a spa, you have to know that your partner is actually interested in health and wellness. Make sure whomever you’re considering is up on the current landscape of your industry and interested in following new trends that could push your business forward.
A resumé may not be enough to judge someone’s qualifications. Having worked at great places isn’t necessarily evidence of leadership and management skills — or vision. Suss out these things before you go in together. You’ll want someone who can set a goal and then work tactically to see things through.
The right business partner will challenge you, inspire you, and make realizing your dream all the more fun.