A business partner is someone who corroborates your idea and visions concerning your establishment by rendering financial support, contributes to the needed skill set and shares the risks involved in running a business.
While most people assume that entrepreneurs are “lone wolves”, the basic truth of business is you need people to succeed. This may be difficult for most start-ups at the beginning stage of going into business- having little money and few people who believe in your ideas.
This creates a demand for young entrepreneurs to strive and rely on the quality of their dreams and aspirations. It might be tough at the preliminary stage, most give up during the first year, many get past the first year and wind up later on in despair. The few who succeed into finding the rhythm for their business and pull in some profit, did so by realising early enough the necessity in finding and choosing the right business partner.
In Napoleon Hill’s book, The Laws of Success– one of the most elaborate and comprehensive books written in the 20th century, compiled from more than 25 years of study and research (strictly scientific and logical experiments and deductions) made staggering and mind engaging discoveries on the vital need for collaborative effort (of two or more people) as a conditional requisite for SUCCESS.
This and many other discoveries clearly rule out the idea that success in business is a solo race. While you may begin the raise, you need the support of others to maintain strength and tenacity in completing the journey. Therefore the need for choosing the right business partner come into play.
While scouting for the right business partners to tag into your team, here are some modalities to put in place before going for the hunt.
Have a vision for your business.
“Without vision, the people perish”- King Solomon
The backbone of an enduring business that have stood the test of time owes a large credit of its success story to the burning vision and idea of its founders. This vision bears the image painted long before the establishment of the enterprise that eventually gave birth to its creation.
While a phase comes when it may seem everything appears to be falling apart, the vision of a business is the only lingering light that keeps hope and determination burning. You have to have a vision for your business! If you don’t, you’ll attract the wrong business partner either you like or not (law of attraction).
Here’s a pro tip to create a business vision.
*eliminate the thoughts of money and be more concerned about adding value.
Your business should be committed in solving a problem else no one would be needing it. If money is your determination, chances are you’ll be hitting the quitting breaks when “storms” hover around you and you suffer a financial loss or experience a drought.
Therefore think beyond selfish interest at first and determine what you want your business to represent. What problems do you intend for your business to solve for people and what value is it going to add to humanity? What impact is it going to create?
When you’ve figured this out and convinced by your answers to these questions, finding the right business partners becomes half easy.
The universe and nature itself has a way of attracting people who share the same philosophy of life. When you’ve determine your vision, you’ll be able to figure out the right business partners who fit within the sphere of your plans.
Backup your vision with an actionable goal
It’s one thing to have vision and it another thing entirely to take concrete steps in seeing it materialise. This is one factor that distinguishes successful entrepreneurs from others.
While vision keeps a dream burning, action takes you there. The first action to take in choosing the right business partner is to set reasonable goals that are realistic and achievable for your business.
You’ll have to share your goals with your intending partners. Therefore when you’ve drafted a business goal and resolve to a definite chief aim, you reduce the complication of finding people who may or may not be comfortable with the size of your goals.This streamlines the options you will have to take in choosing the right business partners.
3. Estimate the risks
Business is not for the light hearted. Majority of the decisions you’ll have to take would involve risks (calculable). Before going into business partnership with a supposedly intending business partner, besides dreaming and basking in the euphoria of the great and mighty things you’ll both conquer together, also ship in the discussion of the potential risks involved.
You don’t want amongst your team someone who backs out in the middle of your business journey because you failed to give them a briefing of the struggles you’ll encounter.
Calculate the sacrifice
This doesn’t just apply to business, basically anything worthwhile in life require some level of sacrifice. Your business partner should be informed on the sacrifices you’ll both be making to achieve the goals you’ve set out.
Draft out the plan
This is different from setting a goal. This highlights the action steps you’d be taking to achieve your set goals. Come up with a plan that directs the course of your business.
When you find someone who agrees and subscribe to the aforementioned, it is most likely that they could be the right business partner for you.
Now bringing it all together.
It is paramount for the above factors/modalities to be taken into cognisance and carefully sorted out before going into partnership with an intending business partner. It is always very important to have all these figured and trashed out before proceeding into an alignment.
The idea is to know what you want. When you know what you’re aspiring and aiming at, selecting the people you intend to partner with becomes much easier.
To a large extend your intending business partner should fit into the following criteria:
Subscribe to the vision of your business.
A house divided against itself will not stand. You and your business partner should share the same vision and be ready to make commitments in seeing the success of this vision materialise.
While it’s absolutely normal to have varied opinions, your individual opinions should not be contrary to the ethics, aim and goals of your business.Find someone who is opened to ideas that encourages team work.
Align with the goals, risks and sacrifices involved.
In choosing the right business partner, you should opt for someone who has an idea of what your business is about and the risks involved. Discuss your goals and everything we’ve highlighted in the preceding paragraphs with your intending partner and observe if they agree with the fit.
Render the financial and skill set support.
Some time back I was once in business partnership with someone who basically wasn’t interested in contributing any kind of work to the success of our business. I was only able to do as much as I could but I had to call the partnership off.
While I wasn’t pleased with the unfortunate outcome of the business I had invested my time and money into, I learnt some DIAMOND lessons I wouldn’t had learnt if I hadn’t gone through that situation.
Look closely, before signing into some kind of partnership with anyone, always draft out the roles and responsibilities of each parties beforehand! Don’t just assume everyone knows their responsibilities and would be committed in doing their individual duties. You’ll be shocked by the outcome of that. Prearrange and discuss the allocation of work and investment you’ll both individually be making.
While choosing the right business partner is very vital for the success of your business, you should make that decision carefully. Below are some people you should avoid going into partnership with. Watch out for these people
It would be a very difficult ride sailing on the same boat with some who is engrossed with their opinions and careless about the input of others.
Avoid going into partnership with folks who laud their ideas and consider your opinions as insignificant.
Someone who has no control of their budget would likely not make a fine business partner. Such folks are usually known to be impulsive and really don’t take time to think through a decision.
The Religious fanatic
Sectarians have a way of attributing religious sentiments to practically everything they engage in. This is not the kind of person to partner with in business. Business requires practical approach and logical thinking, not assumptions.
The family member.
We’ve heard about families who have started businesses which eventually went on to do very well. E.g. the Wright brothers. But this is usually not the case for most.
Pairing in business with a family member may breed laziness from either their part or yours. There’s some kind of lack of commitment knowing you’re working for/with someone who wouldn’t fire you and tolerate your indolence.
Choosing the right business partner may be like a daunting task at first, but the key is to keep improving on yourself. You’ll eventually find the needed support you need.