Finding the right business partner is essential for making your business thrive amongst competitors, grow and be aligned with your business planning and modelling. You should therefore be asking yourself certain questions depending on if your business is a start up or older one and also the size of your business.
Other questions would include:
What is the Business Plan?: Every successful business owner has had some sort of plan or the other. This serves as a guide to where the business is going. Whether you are starting a new business with business start-up plans, identifying a new marketing strategy or planning a customer acquisition campaign, your business strategies must be geared around your business plan and business model to generate overall success. This often results in getting more customers through business expansion strategies etc.
Define Your Business Needs: The above point often leads to you understanding what your business goal is and therefore what is needed for your company to succeed. When you are able to identify this, the qualities, skills, and expertise you're looking for in a new business partner besides yourself will kick in. This will be achieved by considering what strengths and weaknesses you are bringing to the business and what complementary skills a new business partner would also add to the business. Both skills would need to be aligned with each other to implement business ideas, which includes business performance strategies to successfully carry out business growth plans effectively.
Clear Vision: Whilst one is contemplating taking on a new business partner, one has to be clear and communicate openly about one’s business goals, values and vision or mission. This will ensure your goals are aligned and help towards your business development plans. To better achieve this, it is recommended you carry out a business health check to ensure you have cross checked all the essentials, such as; a shared perspective on the direction of the company is in place and your business partner is someone who shares your level of commitment, work ethic and dedication to the business. Compatibility and trust is also a must!
Online Platforms and Communities: Attending online platforms, forums, and communities which are relevant to your business is a great place to start searching if you haven’t already got someone in mind. It is also an opportunity for you to make a comparison instead of putting all your eggs in one basket. Professional websites, such as LinkedIn, FounderDating, CoFoundersLab, and AngelList are great places to start searching. This can be coupled with networking, using your existing professional and personal contacts, similar career and industry work groups and sources including referrals.
Having stated the above, other areas that can often be overlooked but need to be considered, would be:
Background checks and references: Ensure these are carried out completely, appropriately and thoroughly. This will shed light on your potential business partner’s work history and can also reveal areas that clarifies this person may not be the idea candidate which may impact on future operations; such as business growth plans and the business being allegeable for help to raise money for business.
Legal and financial considerations: Seeking professional legal advice when drafting the partnership agreements can often appear you don’t trust your potential business partner. However, it is mandatory that you define the roles, expectation and responsibilities, equity and exit strategies on both sides in the face of any partnership or business conflict in the future. This should include a trial period or project collaboration: This will give you both the opportunity to find out how well you both work together and an opportunity to amend, agree or compromise in certain areas before entering a binding formal business partnership which is harder to break away from.
Last and not least; they say experience is the best teacher, therefore;
Learn from your past mistakes: If you’ve had previous business partnerships, this will be a good start on analysing what worked well and what went wrong. However, if you haven’t, this takes us back to my previous points and is certainly not something to rush into.
If you want some help for your company with regards to the above or you just want someone with the required knowledge and experience in business to guide you on other related matters, please connect with our business advisers at RBSS Consulting Ltd on 0333 355 1696 or direct on 07796 800 187 or drop us an email on email@example.com. We provide real business solutions for start-ups and existing micro and small businesses.