How to Find the Right Business Partner?

Posted on November 9, 2012

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"buspart2"Another thing that becomes clear to many potential young entrepreneurs after they get some ideas on how to run a business is finding the correct business partner. Let say you might be an English Education expertise that has a great idea to set up an English course for all level, but you have no experience in marketing or sales. From this example, perhaps you may need to find a colleague with marketing and sales experience to run the firm successfully. You want to get this right because picking the wrong partners can lead to a lot of heartaches and business challenges. There are five keys criteria you should know to find the right business partner.

1. Know the skills and experiences that you might need.

Make honest assessments of the skills and experience you bring to the business and the gaps that stay behind. Pick someone who fills the gaps. For example, if you’re experienced cloth designer you probably don’t want to partner with another cloth designer. Pick someone who brings other competencies that you need to the venture, like marketing or finance.

2. Make sure your personalities and work habits are compatible.

While you don’t need someone who is just like yourself, you do need to be comfortable with the person you’ll be in a business with. For example, if you’d rather work 16 hours a day if that is what it takes to finish the project on time and your partner would rather quit after 8 hours a day, and try to renegotiate the due date for the project, that difference in work styles will consistently cause conflict. Similarly, if you like to wear a coat and tie when meeting with clients and your partner thinks wearing blue jeans is fine, obvious disagreements’ could arise.

3. Make sure you and your partner have common goals and aspirations.

Be sure that you and your partner are shooting for the same target. For example, if your goal is to build a billion-rupiah company but your partner would be perfectly satisfied growing the company to 100 million rupiah in sales and then selling out, obvious problems could develop.

4. Look in the right places.

If you don’t have someone already mind, it’s important to know where to look for a potential partner. Social networking sites like Facebook maybe help you to find the right business partner or you can attend certain occasion like wedding ceremony, have a small talk with someone’s new and maybe you’ll find a business partner. There are also Web sites, like PartnerUp (www.partnerup.com), that help people identify business partners.

5. Hire a lawyer.

When you have identified a potential partner and you’re confident that the criteria shown previously have been satisfied, you should hire a lawyer to sit down with the two or more of you to help discuss the details. You should details what each partner will contribute to the business, how the equity in the business will be split, what form of business ownership to select, what each partner’s role in the company will be, and so forth. It’s important to hire someone who’s not loyal to any specific partner (even if it’s you). Hire someone who is impartial and everyone feels good about.

Resource: Barringer, Bruce R. 2011. Entrepreneurship Successfully Launching New Venture. Pearson Education.