Whether you run a blog or a traditional startup, it pays to have someone you can trust by your side. Not every entrepreneur has the privilege, and they pay a heavy price when things begin to unravel. When you have a person you can bounce ideas off, or whose skill set fills in the gaps in yours, the odds are failure aren’t as high.
However, this isn’t to say that a relationship is a piece of cake. In many ways, there are challenges you never considered, which makes it twice as tough. Then, there is the fact that you must share everything with this person, and that goes against an entrepreneur’s instincts.
As always, the recruitment process should enable you to avoid the pitfalls. By choosing an ideal partner, the yin to your yang, the partnership will be seamless as you’ll work in harmony. Sure, there are obstacles no matter how successful the combination, but they are smaller and less impactful.
The only thing you need to do now is to find somebody who you are comfortable working with intimately. The final decision will be yours, yet you can use the following criteria to help you weed out the weak from the strong.
Think Of It Like Dating
It’s not a romantic relationship, but it’s still a relationship. As such, there are features you can take from dating and apply them to a business partnership. The main one is not to rush in too soon. There’s a honeymoon period, and you should avoid making important decisions until it has worn off.
Those who don’t tend to see the person’s downfalls just as the ink is drying on the contract, which is a terrible experience. Your partner won’t be perfect – be wary of anyone who pushes this narrative – but you must fully understand their flaws. Otherwise, you can’t weigh the pros against the cons to evaluate if you can deal with them in the long-term.
When you think about the dates that failed because you moved too quickly, you’ll soon understand the need for calm. Gender is one area where you want to move away from the traditional dating experience since it doesn’t matter whether your partner is a man or a woman.
As long as you get along, personally and professionally, sex isn’t a pre-qualifier. If anything, a partner of the opposite gender could bring different perspectives that push the company forward.
Use Your Networks
The idea of going into business with somebody you know is warm and fuzzy. However, it’s also lined with hazards as you can be too comfortable. For instance, siblings will often fight as it’s something they are used to as they have grown up together. From a professional standpoint, it’s very difficult to work when you constantly play devil’s advocate.
On the flip side, trusting a total stranger is something you wouldn’t do in a million years in any other situation. There is a happy medium – a friend or an acquaintance. Depending on your age, you will know people from school, college, and previous jobs, and these are all environments where you are on top of each other.
As a result, you know them quite well, and already have an idea of their strengths and weaknesses, and how they’ll complement the business. It’s about utilizing your contacts to enquire about their availability. Don’t be afraid to rack your brains and think about people from your past.
They could be an ideal partner. Plus, you have their contact details and can send them a message asking if they want to meet up to discuss a business proposition.
Avoid Similar Personalities
Forming a partnership with a person who is similar to you is never a savvy move. It’s an easy choice, one that will make your life simpler from the outset, yet it won’t produce the results you require. Why? It’s because you’ll agree on the same things, which means you’ll have blind spots in your approaches. Also, there’s no way to tell if they think that way or are appeasing you.
The best partnerships are forged in the heat of battle as you’ll debate everything from the budget to house rent investment opportunities and recruitment. It will be painstaking at times, and you’ll wish you could agree, yet your lack of agreements will lead to new opportunities, the sort you don’t find with a yes man.
Of course, it’s essential to limit pointless and counterproductive arguments as they only lead to waste. To be more efficient, you should consider splitting your duties up, offering some form of autonomy. For instance, you might be the ideas person and they the numbers guy, or vice versa.
Regardless, compartmentalizing tasks should allow you to complete tasks and prioritize your workloads while debating the big topics pokes holes in your theories and opens up your mind to a different way of working.
Keep It Simple
Yes, a contract detailing the terms and conditions of the agreement are vital. You might be partners, but you’re not family or best friends, and even then, there are examples of business disputes getting in the way. Typically, partners don’t understand each other very well at the beginning, which is why a deal should be formalized to provide protection.
But, you can’t let a contract complicate matters in the future. For a partnership to work, it has to be simple and straightforward, or else ideas and processes soon become convoluted. Once the contract is signed, it’s crucial to keep the goal that both parties are trying to achieve at the forefront of your minds.
You want the most basic concept of it, too. By doing this, you can catch the moments when you lose yourself in the red tape and bureaucracy to stop you from making uninformed decisions. Try and concentrate on the most important feature of your partnership – moving the business forward.
Everything else is necessary, but it shouldn’t get in-between you and your partner, not if you plan on running a smooth operation.
What do you look for in a partner? Are you a statistics person or do you follow your gut?