How to Choose A Business Partner: 3 Small Business Tips to Choose A Great Business Partner

by oespinola on November 18, 2012

How to choose a business partner? It's a lot like choosing a marriage partner! A great business, like a good marriage, takes commitment in good times and bad.

Tip #1: Common Vision: As Maureen Daniek from Radiance Coaching and Consulting puts it, “be sure to have the same vision.” You must agree to what you both want as an end result. Don't take this for granted. Different goals can cause the partnership to squander precious resources and fail.

For example, if one person wants to keep the business small and the other wants to expand internationally, there will be a rift. At some point the partnership may not survive.

You must know what your partner sees as the future of the company and put it in writing. Working together means you are setting the same priorities for the same outcomes.

Tip #2: Trust is Non-Negotiable. It doesn't matter how skilled your prospective partner is, if you take them on as a part owner in your business, you're trusting them with your future. Speak to people who have done business with this person for years. Know them in many contexts.

How to choose a great business partner hinges on assuring this is someone with unimpeachable integrity. Don't assume it. Many business owners spend more time vetting a new secretary than they do a new partner! Take the time. It's good risk management.

Tip #3: Complimentary Skills. Successful partnerships take teamwork. A business partner is someone you must trust and should compliment your skills. Daniek advises you and your partner should have common goals as well as a similar work ethic and complimentary skills.

Whatever skills or gifts one partner cannot provide the business, the other partner should be able to offer to ensure the business becomes more profitable over time. Working together should be an encouragement to both parties.. 

How to choose a business partner is never easy. Take your time. Make sure the person is a great fit for the business and for you personally. Next to divorce, breaking up a business partnership ranks up high on the pain and loss scale.

Think about the impact the person will have not only in the partnership but the company as a whole. Trustworthiness, complimentary skills, and a strong work ethic are non-negotiable.

Use these as screens when you consider choosing a business partner to accelerate your success.













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