9 Pieces of Advice for Finding the Right Business Partner

The right partner can easily make the difference between success and failure. Before making the decision to go into business with someone, it’s a good idea to address certain qualities of the potential partner. These qualities will not be the same for everyone because we all work a bit differently and certain people pair better with certain personalities than others.

Here are the qualities that these startup founders suggest looking for before deciding to partner up with someone on a business venture.

High five between business partners

1. What Do You Have To Offer?

“Don’t look for a business partner until you find something to offer in you first. Complementing your skill set is important but not to the point of having incompatible management style or philosophy. If half of all marriages end up in a divorce, your partnership will end up in a divorce perhaps even more frequently.

What can you really offer that is valuable for a partnership beyond your skill or background?

What type would be compatible and valuable to you?

Are you really ready for a partnership?”

– Laurie Heng, Trumpia

2. Constructive Criticism

“It is very important to have a business partner (or at least a sparring partner) you can exchange ideas with and who are constructively critical about what is going on. Try to first understand where your weaknesses lie and look for somebody who has his/her strength there. That of course is an ideal world, in reality the most important quality is to have people you can trust around you and if not one business partner can help you with what you need, add advisors to the team, which have the qualities you miss.”

– Rolf Ritter, People As A Service

3. Complementing Personalities

“Complimenting personalities, matching moral compass levels and equal levels of motivation are three very important qualities I look for in a business partner. I have found that these qualities of more important than overall direct experience and technical prowess.”

– Tim Nichols, ExactDrive

4. Shares Your Determination

“I would suggest finding someone who shares the exact same determination and passion as you. It is extremely important you both have the same image for the company and follow the same path. I also suggest having partners that compliment each others skillset. If your the business parter, invest in a tech partner and vise versa.”

– Jonny Videl, CallsheetOperator

5. Reliability

“Partnerships in business can result in truly incredible outcomes; there are countless examples. I believe trust, shared vision, and complementary skill sets are the key underlying characteristics that shape successful partnerships in business. I would advise any entrepreneur to carefully evaluate what a potential partner brings to the startup; it’s not always about the financial. You should really ask the question; “when it’s time to grind it out in the trenches; can I count on this partner” Pick your business partner like you pick your fruit.”

– Sasha Mohammed, kopigin

Business people signing a contract for a partnership

6. Open Minded

“I look for dedicated people with an open mind. You will encounter lots of surprises in the way of founding a business, in most cases, tons of sh*t happens before the miracles. So you need someone can fights wholeheartedly with you, and always welcome better people to join your team.

On the other hand, part-time partners are quite dangerous to a start-up, coz it seems the business is not a priority of them, or they are not ready at the moment.”

– Corrine Zhao, Ubo

7. Shares Your Vision

“Someone who shares the same vision as you and that you trust.You have to be able to communicate freely with them (both the good and the bad stuff!) because as a team you will learn faster that way. You have to enjoy and believe in what you do and share that with your business partner because there will always be ups and downs, and celebrating the ups and attacking the downs together gives you the best chance of succeeding.”

– Todd Gisby, StretchSense

8. Common Goals

“When looking for a potential business partner, you want to make sure that you have common values and discuss what end goal you would like to achieve. Values are the core essence of your being. When you find common ground with someone on a deeper level, you will generally be able to work through the problems that may arise. Also, having a common end goal means that there is an intrinsic commonality for what you both would like to get out of the business – you will just have to work together to find the best path to get there!”

– Zoey McKenzie, OMNI

9. Different Skills, Complementary Personality

“Only co-found with someone who is equally important to the success of the business as you are. Ideally, they should have different skill sets from you and a complementary personality. And if you’re starting a technology it certainly helps to have a co-founder who is technical.”

– Cameron Mclain, ChallengeMe