While bringing a partner into a business can open the door to new opportunities and new business contacts, the success of a partnership often depends on finding the right partner. What should you look for in a business partner?
Do you believe that you can work well together?
Your business partner does not necessarily have to be a close friend, but, as Forbes notes, it is important that you have chemistry and that you can trust each other. You want someone that you can work well with, who is willing to listen to your perspective and who can compromise as needed.
Do they have a track record that you can trust?
As AdAge points out, your partner will need to manage the business if you go on vacation, have a health emergency or need to attend a conference. Look for a partner whose experience gives you confidence in their ability to run the business in your absence, whether that experience is in running a sole proprietorship or acting as a manager in a larger company.
Does your business partner have skills that you don’t?
While running a business as a sole proprietor requires you to manage every aspect of your business, working with a partner allows both of you to play to your strengths. For example, if you are not confident in your marketing skills or feel awkward while networking, a partner with great outreach skills can make your business stronger and allow you to focus on building other aspects of your business.
Can you agree on the terms of your partnership?
While you might think that another person is a great fit for your business, it is especially important that you agree on your partnership agreement. Negotiating this agreement is the first step in building your business, and it may be one of the most important steps. This allows you to begin your partnership on the same page on many details, from defining each of your roles to establishing what will happen if you want to dissolve your partnership.
If you need additional help navigating your partnership agreement, it can help to speak to an attorney about your partnership and your business’s goals. They can help you negotiate an agreement with your partner that gives your new business venture a strong foundation for success.