Once you have decided that you want to run a business based on a partnership model, the first thing you need to realize is that a partnership is way different from a solo business. With this in mind, you need to tone down your excitement at starting new businesses and choose the perfect co-founder with a calm, cool and collected head.
All other things being equal, your choice of a co-founder could potentially be the difference between the success of your business venture and a total disaster. Here are some helpful pointers to guide you through the process of choosing the right co-founder for your business.

Your co-founder must share your passion

If you take a good look at some of the business world’s most successful business partnerships over the years, one thing is almost always present in those relationships –and that is a mutual passion between both individuals for that particular business. Whoever owns the business idea, if the other party cannot find a sustained level of passion for the venture beyond profit and what might come out of it at the end of the day, such a relationship might just be doomed to fall apart from the very start.

Your partner’s strength must complement yours

Despite the fact that you both share a great deal of passion for the business project, it is still of a massive importance that your areas of strength are complementary, rather than the same. For example, if one person is particularly skilled in management and production, the other could be a fine marketer or a finance-savvy individual. It’s just as it would be for every relationship. Business or not, relationships are generally stronger when each party complements the other.

An evident thirst for knowledge is important

As an entrepreneur, learning never stops. While you must inculcate the habit of being constantly in search for knowledge, you must ensure that your potential business partner has the same trait. Your perfect co-founder must understand that they don’t know it all and that the willingness to learn all the time will be very important to the growth of the venture and the success of the partnership a result.

A co-founder must be adaptable

Adaptability is a key trait entrepreneurs must possess. You don’t want to cede a considerable percentage of your business to an individual who does not possess that trait. Such people would definitely jump ship at the slightest sign of turbulence. You want an individual who has the necessary vibe, as well as the humility to understand that the need may arise for them to engage in thankless, sacrificial and small tasks (think being CEO and having to load the dish washer).
Adaptability is a precursor to creativity, and creativity is very important to the business process.

Honesty and integrity

These two values are very important in the scheme of things, no matter how you look at it. A business partnership would definitely include money dealings and you don’t want to get into bed with an individual of questionable character.
Aside from that, an individual of questionable character could quickly and easily bring the business into disrepute via a bad reputation. You need to be very wary of this. You don’t want your business to be brought to its knees by financial misdemeanors or an inherited reputation. Honesty is very important.

Emotional stability is paramount

The ability to manage your own emotions as well as that of others is a key component of the right co-founder. There is bound to be a rough period in the relationship, or multiple rough periods. Your partner must be able to maintain a cool head in such situations. You can’t risk getting a partner who would yell at customers or employees. Such traits could potentially ruin the business and send it back to square one.

Remember, a partnership is just as successful as the relationship between the partners. So, make sure the relationship between you and your partner is healthy and not detrimental to the business.

Farva Jafri

Author Farva Jafri

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