Your business has grown exponentially since you started it at home five years ago. From a solo venture, you now have about thirty people on your team. And because you want things to go straight up from there, you decide to get a business partner.
Why get a business partner, you ask? It’s pretty simple. If you want to continue to push the business forward, you’d need all the valuable help you can get. And a skilled business partner can bring exactly that to the business.
But before you go ahead and search LinkedIn for your business-partner-to-be, ask yourself first: What kind of a business partner are you looking for? And just like looking for any other type of partner in life, you would need to make sure that your business partner is the best fit for you and your business.
Here are 8 helpful questions you would need to ask yourself if you’re looking for a good business partner.
1. Does he or she complement your skills?
If you lean towards being creative, you may want to look for a logical-analytical business partner; if you’re the type who can market your product and service with your eyes closed, get a partner who would be effective at building your product or performing your service excellently. It’s all about finding someone who would perfectly complement your talents and skillsets. Basically, bring the ying to your yang.
2. Does he or she have clean hands?
Having a partner that values integrity is incredibly important. Yes, he knows the ins and outs of the industry, but does he have a stellar track record of being a true stand-up professional? Will he bring good business practices to the company? Of course, having a business partner with literally clean hands is also a plus — it will come in handy when you shake his or her hand after the job offer’s finalized.
3. Does he or she have a nurturing quality?
You would need someone who would take care of your business whether you’re in the office or away from it. Get a business partner who treasures the company you’ve built, believes in your vision and works hard to help you achieve your company’s goals. It’s easy to put your trust in your business partner if you know that he or she truly cares about making the company grow.
4. Does he or she respect others?
This is a no-brainer. If the person who applies for the business partner role in your company is rude to most and is only nice to a select top-brass execs — it may be a good idea to keep looking. How will this candidate handle your people — the people you love and worked with for years — if he or she is completely disrespectful of others? Find someone who has respect for everyone — and we mean everyone — in your organization. Pro tip: if a candidate barely smiles during your initial meet, don’t stop the interview process just yet.
5. Does he or she have dedication?
Does the person seem like the type who would be willing to clock in a few extra hours in the evening to get a job done? Will that person be willing to fly out locally or internationally to resolve a crisis? Will that person pick up a phone call late in the evening to answer a few important queries about work? Not that you’ll be doing any of these things frequently (hopefully not!) but it’s good to know that you have someone you can depend on who has the same level of passion when it comes to running your business.
6. What vision does he or she have for your business?
Like you, does he or she believe that your product needs to be re-branded to reach more people for less cost? Do you share the same belief that you need to increase your staff to cater to the business’s growing needs? It’s important for your business partner to be in sync with the vision that you have for your company. Being in complete alignment with one another’s vision of what the business should be like will eliminate the need for long-winded debates and even conflict.
7. Does he or she motivate you to do better?
A good business partner will inspire you to keep upping your game. Let’s face it — we’re not always at the peak of our performance. We get lazy. We slack off. But if you have a supportive business partner who would encourage you to get up and do something productive so you can reach your goals, you and your company will certainly go places. An inspiring business partner will also help you become an inspiration yourself, not just to reciprocally with your business partner, but with the rest of your staff as well.
8. Does he or she solve problems after identifying them?
It’s important to have someone who can identify what needs to be done or what needs to be tweaked in your current systems and processes. But it’s equally important to have someone who would actually roll up his or her sleeves and work on the problem areas that have been identified. An ideal business partner is not just a dreamer but also, and more importantly, a doer, too.