Most Entrepreneurs don’t often find great success by themselves. Here is a quick summary of what to look for in a business partner and the five best places to find them. Stop fighting the battle alone and read this advise from entrepreneurs who have made it alone and have made it with a partner and believe... a "partnership is better".
There are too many diverse skills and experience needed, to many hats to where, not enough time for one person to do it all. Trying to "do it all and be it all to everyone" can take it's toll on your business success, personal relationships and even your health. Statistically the most successful small businesses have one or more “partners” contributing to the success of their business.
Here are some great tips if you are considering taking on a business partner to help your business grow that much more, that much faster, make more money while having more time for life and family outside of the businesses.
Who to partner with:
- Skill set. Decide what skills your business and your customers need most and Look for someone who has those skills that you don’t. Someone who can “fill the gaps” in what you can do well and help move your business’s weaknesses into strengths.
- Book of Business. In addition to skills you may want to search for a business partner that also comes with a “book of business”, a large number of customers of their own that will now be customers of the both of you. This may not apply to all types of business but is an under recognized value to quickly building a large productive business.
- Passion, drive and commitment. You need a partner that shares the same level of commitment and work ethic to the business and its mission that you do. You may think no one else does and they may not now but once you become partners they should. Look for someone already passionate about what you do.
- Trust and Relationship. A business partnership can be much like a marriage compounded with a great deal of business and financial stresses. You may quickly find you are spending more time with your partner than you do with your spouse. And like a marriage, without total trust, communications and a good working relationship to help get though the tough times a business partnerships seldom succeed.
Where to look for business partners:
- Our first (and most bias) opinion is B4BNetworks.com. B4BNetworks already matches you ( for free) with ideal business referrals sources and prospective business partners who serve your same customer base in your same market area.
- Check your “business matching” suggestions for potential business partners
- Simple make a short post stating that you are looking for a potential business partner(s). This post will be seen by thousands of business savvy prospective partners who can quickly validate if the two of you mike make ideal business partners.
In the absences of using a custom business relationship platform like B4BNetworks, finding an ideal will take some planning, effort and time. Here is a list of resources shared by a few of our members who have already found their business partners to help make their business all that more successful:
- Your existing network of business professionals, co-workers, management and others you already know and trust. You know their work ethic (important), their skills and personality in ways you may not know about someone you have only met recently.
- Your family members for the same reasons as above but make sure they “fill the gaps” and truly bring significant additional value to the business. While this may sound a little “cold” you don’t want to bring in a family member only to both to have a bad business experience. They still need to bring real value to your business or customer base.
- Your Friends. Yes, I know you have all heard “don’t have a friend as a business partner” but history has shown that friends can make very good business partners. You can’t invite them to be you partner just because they are your friend. They must bring real value to your business as well. Business history has a large number of very successful startups by very good “friends”.
- Expo’s and Conferences. Not the conferences you like to go to. Those have too much in common with you and your existing skills. Scout out possible business partners at conferences focusing on what skills and expertise you lack or your business needs the most. Example, while a web designer or videographer might loath going to a finance or accounting conference it can be an excellent place to find their desperately needed CFO skill set and future business partner.
Remember, You want a partner who is as passionate about the business as you are so you will probably have to give them am “interest” in the business. The best ways to share equity in a new startup will be the subject of a pending B4B blog post but it is never to early to start you networking and searching for a prospective business partner to help grow your businesses and enrich your life in ways you probably can’t imagine as a lonely “solopreneur”.