The Art of Building a Winning Partnership
At the office, we meet business partners on a regular and one thing that strikes us is the misconception of how important it is to find a compatible business ally.
This post is all about finding your ideal business partner which may or may not be a friend. Finding your partner requires as much diligence as making an investment. Do you remember when you had to pick your teammates for your high school projects? You need to be just as picky.
Choosing the right partners in your team was surely a tricky process, you must have looked for traits like punctuality, determination, ability to communicate, in order to come up with the perfect complimentary team. The process of finding a business partner involves the same kind of overhaul of abilities in your partner, but it must be done at a higher mature level.
Let’s say, you are looking for an ideal spouse rather than a business partner because let’s be honest, it’s pretty much the same.
Bear in mind these 6 tips, before you go hunting.
1. Look for a talent that you don’t have
One of the most prudent methods to select the right business partner is by scanning their skills. This can helps cutting the costs of hiring additional employees. For example, if you’re good at sales and enjoy doing business development, your partner could be someone who likes to do the actual work once the clients come in. It could be a partner who is better at marketing and the other one is better at coding; you want to avoid being the same.
2. Financial Stability of your partner
As mentioned earlier, looking for a business partner is like finding a right spouse. Before entering a marital contract both the partners consider all the options present and future to financially support a new family. In the same way, businesses also thrive on monetary resources. So, look for the partner who has enough money to provide support to the business. In case your business partner is not able to invest much financial capital, then he could contribute with his expertise but just make sure that if you’re in an industry that requires lots of financial investments to start off, you’ll have to look elsewhere for additional support.
3. Be clear about your goals
Two persons traveling in the same direction don’t always have the same destination. It is better to have clarity of mind before starting any business with another person. Even if don’t share a similar goal, you should at least know what they are. It doesn’t matter if the partnership is long term basis or short term basis, it must be strong and well committed. If you are looking for a partner for short term support maybe partnering up isn’t ideal, it could be a collaboration instead. I have seen people partnering up with their graphic designers because they could not afford their fees, that’s not enough of a good reason.
4. It is better to choose an old acquaintance
If you know someone very well from more than 5 to 8 years, then he or she can be a potential business partner. Don’t simply run after knowledge, money or prospects. What matters the most is the trust. I’m sure you’ve seen this before where businesses get dissolved after one partner deceives the other. Starting a business with an old friend, or a colleague you worked with for a long time, has many benefits to achieve long-term goals.
5. Scrutinize your potential partner
Have you seen them at their best and their worst? Are you aware of their level of professional attitude? Make sure that you and your partner both are on the same page and share similar values. Imagine you end up with a partner who is more inclined towards an ideology that challenges capitalism and you don’t, then there are chances of mismanagement and disorientation. The reason is obvious you both have different mindsets and don’t share the same goals.
6. Look for an equal team player not a subordinate
This tip is more targeted to solo business owners whose businesses already exists. Some partnerships simply fail because an ambiguity exists regarding the decision-making process. Don’t assume your partner will agree on everything you say, as equal partners you should value their opinion and not treat them as subordinates. If your partner is joining an existing business, always encourage your partner to share his thoughts, ideas, and plans. Ask for proposals and recommendations that will benefit your business in the long run.
If you’re already in business with partners, I hope you took these things into consideration, if you’re on the hunt for the one, keep these tips in mind and don’t rush into it. Just like a relationship, it takes time and getting to know each other before committing. If you have questions or would like to chit-chat about finding a partner or even just starting your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to us, Audax Avocat's founder has been there, done that.
Ps. We are hosting a breakfast & learn event on March 16th right on this topic. Come eat and learn the art of building a strong and winning partnership. There is also the option of The presentation is in French but questions are welcomed in English as well. Click here for tickets.