The needs of every company are different, as are how they are organized. Those looking to start a business with a partner or bring a new partner into an established business should be cautious before committing to what is essentially a business marriage.
There are many benefits to a good partnership. The trick is to find a person that has a compatible business mindset and shares similar goals.
5 traits to look for in a good business partner
Here are some critical considerations to keep in mind when choosing who to work with:
- Complementary skills are key
It is important for those selecting a business partner to have a firm idea of their own strengths and weaknesses. Doing so can help them find someone with a complementary skillset rather than a similar one. If one person is a salesperson, for example, then it would make sense that the other would have business management skills.
- They need to be trustworthy
Good business partners help solve problems, not create them. Desirable traits include punctuality, integrity, a steady demeanor and focus on building a better company.
- Someone who inspires growth
A little friendly competition among business partners can build better chemistry between them and encourage them to do better work. This can include trying new approaches or reigniting passion when adversity threatens to undo the business.
- Goal compatibility
Different people will have different visions for the future. It is best to agree on how to grow the company and establish clear priorities when doing it, thereby avoiding unhealthy challenges down the line when making crucial business decisions.
- Similar work ethic
Everyone works in different ways, but business owners need intensity, passion and drive to create a successful venture. Owners committed to working nights and weekends when necessary are probably incompatible with those who do not answer their phone or check their email after business hours.
Always put it in writing
Partners may seal the deal with a handshake, but it is essential to also create a written agreement that clearly outlines the business’s structure, job descriptions, ownership stake, rate of pay, approaches to dispute resolution and other necessary details. This contract can help partners avoid disputes, and may also provide methods for resolving them in a fair manner that minimizes the harm to the business.