Finding a Partner for Your Next Venture
Some partnerships are formed because the business reaches a stage where it becomes difficult for one person to run everything. Others because the entrepreneur does not have the skills or resources required by the business. Regardless of the reason, going into a partnership can be a defining decision. If it’s time in your business to expand and bring on a partner, here are some ways of finding the right person.
Start from the people you know
Mixing Business with personal life is not on the list of recommendations of experts. But, when you think of it, your friends and family are a reliable source because you know the strengths and weaknesses of the person beforehand. One of the issues with working with family is that if things go bad, then there is a chance of souring the relationship with them. But, you can avoid this to a great extent by keeping everything transparent with them and involving them in the decision-making process. Also, like any business venture, this is a risk you have to take if the person is right for the job.
To get family and friends to spend more than their money and become involved in the business, start by making a solid business plan. Think of then as an investor instead of a close one. Give them a detailed plan that includes information about the financials, market, and milestones you expect to achieve. Thankfully, you don’t have to do everything from scratch because there are templates available where you can enter all the information and create a polished business plan. If you’re finding it awkward to ask a friend for their background details, you can use a service like Nuwber to find their public records.
As with any investment, if you have taken money from them, then give them a clear time frame in which you’ll return the investment. Besides giving them a standard return plan, also clarify what will happen if you are not able to make a payment. While you can get away with verbal agreements, it’s best to have it all in a legal document. In fact, it’s best to have a record of all the undertakings and carry all the necessary documents, so you show them that you have a professional approach towards your work.
Another place where you can find people that are capable and close to you is, of course, your place of work. Having worked with them you have the advantage of knowing exactly what they bring to the table, and how they will compliment your skills. Besides looking at your current colleagues for potential partners, also give some thought to your past colleagues. Maybe there is someone in your past who is in a better position to become a partner and is able to give more time to the business.
Use the old ways of networking and also learn the new ones
Go to industry events to find likeminded people. Besides sharing your own ideas, you may also find people whose ideas have even more potential than yours. If you’re in the process of learning about your industry, then along with online content, if possible, take the time to attend a business course or training. Your local college may have multiple courses to offer.
Networking online has been a game-changer for many. From social media groups to dedicated discussion forums, you will be able to find a platform or two regardless of your industry. Stay active on social media and industry-related forums, and you‘ll find like-minded people that are potential business partners. Besides, these websites and pages also post the latest information, so they’ll be a good way of staying up to date with what’s happening in your industry.
Look outside your industry
While it’ll be easier for you to judge the skills and competence of people who do the same work as you, your business may need somebody with an entirely different skillset and experience. Start by analyzing your own skills and limitations so you know what the other person needs to bring to the business. Use online networks as well as conventional methods to find the right people. Bring someone new like this will also help you review the business from a different point of view.
Take your time
Understandably, it is difficult to wait when you have a clear idea of what you need to grow your business. But, at the same time, you should give yourself enough time to look at each person and partnership opportunity in detail. Make sure that the other person is as passionate about the business as you are and you’re ready for the commitment.
Define your goals from the beginning
Growing your business is sometimes about how you will achieve the next objective on the list. This is an easy approach, but it can also lead to conflict in the business. At first, the new person may agree with all the objectives you have set for the business, but later on, their vision for the business may change after they have spent some time working on it. So, it’s important that you decide on an ultimate goal for your business and share it with your potential partner, whether you know them before or not.
Working in a partnership with someone requires a certain level of understanding and a passion for achieving all the common goals and objectives after business. Of course, the main thing you should consider is the skills that the other person will bring to the business. But, to make it a lasting partnership you should also consider their trustworthiness and commitment to the work they do. Avoid stereotypes and look for partners at all places including your home and friends circle. When you find someone you would like to connect to, clearly and professionally explain the project to them, so they know their role and responsibilities from the beginning.
We hope you enjoyed this promoted piece as much as we did!