How to Choose a Business Partner

by aaran on November 19, 2012

One of the most important choices any entrepreneur makes is how to choose a business partner. Like a healthy marriage, effective partnership takes a good amount of hard work, patience, and open communication. Choosing the right individual to work with can mean the difference between success and failure for your firm! Below are three key factors for selecting a business partner:

  1. Complementary Characteristics

Searching for or reviewing a potential partner for the venture, you should carefully assess the individual's strengths and weaknesses and compare them to your own.

It is wise to analyze both personalities as well as skill sets in this process; dynamic partnerships are established when the individuals complement each other in multiple areas.

Richard Green, Director of Ciarus Advisors, LLC echoes this important element of complementary talents. "It may seem counterintuitive,” he said, “but partners with the same point of view (style) and expertise tend to fail more often than partners that bring different views (aligned with the same goals) and different skill sets. It broadens the 'thinking platform'."

  1. Flexibility

When considering candidates for partnership, communicating expectations, especially with time commitments and responsibilities, is crucial. Any small business must be versatile because the world is constantly changing, as are economic factors every day. The owners of the business must likewise be flexible, because frankly change is always inevitable.

  1. Work Ethic

Lastly, experience and grit play a significant role in the world of entrepreneurship (the ventures that don't fail within a few months, that is). Entrepreneur Michael J. Flanigan, while discussing the most important factors of choosing a business partner, advises, "Pick people who have either been successful in business before, because they will know what it takes, or pick someone who is hard working, selfless, focused and used to sacrifice, because you sacrifice a lot when you start a business."

There is no perfect formula for how to choose a business partner! People are always full of surprises- sometimes good and sometime bad, but these three elements are crucial to consider during the process of choosing.  Complementary characteristics, flexibility, and work ethic are the biggest factors you should consider when evaluating potential business partners. 




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Andrew November 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm

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