5 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Business Partner

By Stefanie Neyland, Small Business Content Developer at BizLaunch.com

Launching a business with a partner can be a scary endeavour. Much like a marriage, you’ll be bound to your partner and responsible for one another’s actions for the duration of your business career. However, there are instances when having a partner can be useful. As an entrepreneur, there may be times where you feel a little lonely or in need of some support—and that’s where a business partner can help. They can inspire you when you’re feeling unmotivated, and can help lighten your load when the weight of your business becomes too much.

The key to choosing the right partner for your business is preparation and research. Whether you’re looking for a co-founder for your startup or another business you can strategically partner with, keep the following five considerations in mind before diving into a business commitment.


1. Consider the skill set you want

Try to find a business partner who has different skills to your own. This makes for a better balance between the two of you and can give you a more competitive advantage in the marketplace. It may be tempting to partner with someone similar to you simply because you speak the same language, but try to opt for someone who is strong in the areas where you’re weak. Taking on a business partner should make your venture stronger because your skills complement each other. For example, if you’re strong in marketing and sales but hate crunching numbers, your ideal partner might be someone who’s good at accounting and finance.


2. Personalities shouldn’t clash

Someone might look great on paper, but if he or she rubs you the wrong way, forming a business partnership with them could have disastrous consequences. Keep looking until you find an individual you get along with and who you could imagine working with long-term. Skillset alone just isn’t enough—you’ve both got to be able to get along on a personal level. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your business partner so make sure you feel comfortable with each other and communicate well.


3. Divide and conquer

Draw a clear line of separation between your responsibilities and those of your business partner so there’s no confusion about who makes decisions on operations, strategy or marketing. Too many companies fail due to a simple lack of delegation on decision-making between partners.


4. Same work ethic

Are you the type of entrepreneur who believes in working 60 hours per week? Be sure your potential business partner shares that same drive and determination, otherwise you’ll start to watch the clock and resent them for working less hours than you do.


5. Respect is key

Just like your spouse or life partner, it’s crucial that you and your business partner respect one another. Your reputation will be intricately tied to this person, so be sure you team up with someone who makes you proud.

Did You Know Box

By Andrew Patricio

September 10, 2014