What makes a good Business Partner?
What makes a good business partner?
In business, as in love, choosing the right partner is crucial–and many of the qualities you need to look for are the same. This is a major life decision, so don’t rush it. Those who go into business together in haste tend to repent at leisure.
No joke–passion is just as important to the survival of a business as it is to the survival of a marriage. You’re looking for someone who lights up when they talk about your business, who’s excited enough about it to make it one of their top priorities, and who’s committed to putting the work in, pulling their weight, and doing what it takes to reach your business goals.
Enthusiasm and reliability don’t always go together–but in a business partner, they need to. Be wary of people whose work history seems scattered, or who never seem to spend a full year in the same organisation. They might not be the type you can depend on to help you run your company and lead your people.
Compatibility doesn’t mean being the same–in fact, you’d do well to look for someone who’s very different, who complements you by being strong where you’re weak and weak where you’re strong. By filling in the gaps in each other’s hard and soft skills, you’ll be able to accomplish much more together.
4. Good Connections
Having a good network of investors, industry influencers and potential clients is essential to growing your business. If you don’t have an extensive network, see if you can marry into one by finding a business partner who’s well connected.
5. Financial Responsibility
While advanced accounting skills might not be necessary in a business partner (you can always hire an accountant later on), it’s important to pick someone with a good knowledge of money management and no history of serious financial issues.
Even if they’re not the co-creator of the business, your business partner needs to share your creative spirit. Look for an entrepreneur who’s an innovative ideas person and can help you distinguish your brand from the herd.
Running a business rarely, if ever, goes the way you expect. You need a business partner who can keep their mind open and embrace different perspectives and ideas. Someone who insists on doing things their way could prevent your company from reaching its potential.
8. Risk Tolerance
Following on from this, a high risk tolerance is essential. You don’t want someone who’s impulsive, but you do want someone who’s willing to go out on a limb, risk losing an investment, and choose an exciting opportunity over playing it safe.
9. Conflict Resolution
Fights happen in every business partnership. You’re working long hours together, the stakes are high, and it’s stressful. A bit of conflict doesn’t mean you’ve picked the wrong person. But if they start seeking revenge or holding grudges when they don’t get their way, that’s a huge red flag. You need someone who looks for win-win solutions and would rather de-escalate conflict than escalate it–even if we all fall short of that ideal at times.
Another thing that happens in every business partnership: setbacks. Look for a resilient business partner who can roll with the unexpected and motivate you if you feel down. Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes it takes a lot of failure to reach success. A good business partner can give you the strength to keep going.