Picking the right business partner

How do you pick the right partner for your new business? A good business partnership can help you turn your dreams into a reality much more easily. A bad one, however, can end in heartbreak and litigation.

If you’re struggling to decide if someone is the right person to be your business partner, here’s what you need to consider:

  1. What can they bring to the business? Ideally, you want someone who complements your skills and abilities, not matches them. If you’re a visionary, you may need a business partner with a more practical mindset. Maybe you have the ideas and the energy to put into your passion, but your prospective partner has an in-road with the industry and financing. Make sure that your prospective partner will be a resource.
  2. Do you both have the same values, vision and spirit? A business partnership is a lot like a marriage. It won’t be very successful unless the partners have a cohesive set of goals and outlook on life. Without that, you may not even get past the company’s vision statement.
  3. Does your prospective partner have their life together? Take a good, hard look at a potential business partner’s life before you make a deal. If their personal life is constantly in chaos, how much attention and energy can they put into a new business? Similarly, if you have questions about how ethical a person is in their personal dealings, that’s a huge red flag — they may be just as unethical in business, when it suits them.

Finally, make sure that you’re dealing with someone who is level-headed and sensible. If they aren’t willing to talk about the details of your partnership agreement and plan ahead, you should pass on the deal.