As an experienced entrepreneur, you know how important, and how challenging, it is to find a quality business partner. A popular saying today is “your vibe attracts your tribe,” which is exceedingly accurate because most people tend to associate themselves only with like-minded individuals.
The problem with this practice is that it creates clones, i.e., business partners with skills and abilities mirroring yours, and the business will lack an opportunity to evolve and grow. The goal is to bring on a partner—not replace yourself as the CEO. It is crucial to make sure that a potential business partner isn’t a redundancy but brings valuable assets as well as new skills and approaches to your business. You want to partner with someone who can bring depth, insight, and ingenuity to the table.
Considering Potential Business Partners
Before even contemplating real-life candidates, take a moment to deliberate over whether or not you need a business partner. If you decide that you do, make sure that your partner is one whose values and goals match your own.
Secondly, have a clear and precise picture of what you want for your business. What are your one-year, five-year, and 10-year goals? Having these images in mind will help you pick a candidate with similar goals and values. While your partner should complement you in areas such as skills, abilities, and responsibilities, they need to mirror your goals and values to ensure that the business will follow the path you have laid out.
Next, remember that you want them to assist you in balancing responsibilities. That is the main reason it is vital for the skills and abilities to contradict your own. They will be working in tandem with you, and so the areas in which they are skilled should be areas in which you lack and vice versa.
According to the advice of Chart Westcott, COO of Ikarian Capital, every entrepreneur should have the following skills:
Open-mindedness — An entrepreneur needs to be able to hear and neutrally evaluate new ideas from different perspectives.
Self-starting — Taking initiative is the only way to make progress. As the starter of the business, no one else is going to do it for you.
Competitiveness — You are competing with a lot of clever and contemporary business ideas. You have to push your concept above the others.
Creativity — As a new business (or even a longtime existing business) you are going to experience issues that need resolution. The conventional solution may not be the best. Be creative in your problem-solving skills.
Determination — Your first idea may fail; your second and third ones may fail as well. Keep going. Success may just be around the corner.
Strong people skills — There is no way to avoid people, as a business owner. You may need to provide customer service on your own when starting out; eventually, you may need to bring on employees. It is always best if those people enjoy working with you.
Strong Work Ethic — To make your business successful, you will have to work hard to create, market, and provide a service or product that people will enjoy.
Passion — The most successful business ventures are near and dear to heart. There will be times when it is challenging, tedious, or nearly impossible to continue. Your passion for your business will carry you through those times.
Confidence — Promote yourself and your business with strength. There is no room for doubt when you are running your own business. If you doubt yourself, your service, or your product, your customer and employees will as well, and that will limit your success.
Entrepreneurs embody several of the skills and characteristics listed above. However, it is unlikely, unfortunately, that any one person will possess all of them. Recognize the areas in which you may be lacking and search for those traits in potential candidates while considering them as business partners.