Just like a marriage starts all hearts, roses, and dreams, many partnerships start with everything going on well as planned but in the end, things don’t always go as expected. Choosing a wrong partner can lead you into bankruptcy, lawsuits and even getting out business altogether. To avoid all these, you must take your time while choosing the person to partner with that’s if you even need one.
Steven Covey in his book “The seven habit of the most effective people”, highlighted the fact that 1+1 should be equal to 3 or more for any relationship to be a success. So, what does this mean for a business partnership? For any partnership to last, the results attained by both of you should be greater than the sum of results for both of you if you had chosen to work individually. For example, If each of you were making say $10,000 a month, your partnership should be able to generate more than $20,000. This can only be achieved if you’re dealing with the right person. So how do you choose the right person? That’s the question that I am going to answer in this post.
Traits of a good business partner
Trust and integrity
If you want a successful partnership, then don’t think of compromising any of these two. No matter the skills or business experience your partner has, if you don’t trust him, then there will be a fall out at some point. Trust and integrity can only be tested after knowing someone for some time. That’s why it is not a good idea to work with someone you have no prior experience with.
You need to make sure your partner is ready to put in the work to make your dreams a reality. Having a lazy partner will always put you in situations of doing all the work that is meant to be done by both of you. So look for a partner who loves to work.
Their skill set
Choosing a partner that has similar skills like yours is always not recommended. This is because your output will not be as much compared to when you choose someone with different skills that complement yours. Steve Jobs and Wozniak were able to build Apple simply because one was more of a businessman or entrepreneur and the other was a technical person. If you are a technical person and you are not so good at marketing, then you should choose a partner that’s good at marketing. That kind of combination is what leads to success in business.
Get a partner that challenges you
Growing a business requires you to learn a lot of new things. A challenging partner will always push you out of your comfort zone to learn uncomfortable things. A partnership where you are more dominant in terms of resources and skills will likely not improve you as an entrepreneur and a person.
A business mindset is important to help both of you challenge yourselves to do the uncomfortable stuff and to take risks as well. Businesses that don’t take risks do not last for long. That’s why it is important to get a partner who has a business mindset.
Passion and commitment
Your business partner should be passionate and committed to making your vision for the business come true. Passion and commitment are very important especially when the business gets into hard times. A partner who’s not fully committed is likely to jump off the boat when things get tough. So, look out for someone who matches or even exceeds your level of passion and commitment.
Business involves a lot of dynamics and changes that will often need pivoting from one strategy to another. A rigid partner could become a stumbling block for trying out new things that could get your business into a better position. This is why it is important to find someone that is open-minded and flexible.
There’s no constant formula that you can use to test who is a good partner and who is not. It all depends on your personality and your skill set. That is why it is always recommended to work with someone that you have prior experience with. Most of the successful startup stories have always involved partnerships between high school and college friends, former workmates, etc. This is because you can only learn about someone’s personality after you have spent some time with them.
Don’t partner with someone you’ve just met at a startup event just because you feel they’re knowledgeable and will complement your skills. Personal skills are very key for any successful partnership and these can only be learned when you spend some time with someone.