There are many advantages to taking on a business partner. You have access to another powerful brain, it’s usually good for cash flow, and you’ll be adding areas of expertise to your business that it didn’t previously have. These are all worthwhile reasons to bring someone on board, but that doesn’t mean that you should be looking just to bring anybody on board. Quite the opposite: bringing in a business partner is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make! Below, we take a look at five questions you need to ask yourself before making the decision.
What’s The Connection Like?
Your business will be on a fast track to nowhere if you bring in a partner with whom you do not get along, no matter how talented they are. Because you’ll be working so closely together – and have so much riding on the relationship – you need to ensure that there’s chemistry between the two of you. They need to be the Yin to your Yang, in effect. For this reason, you shouldn’t jump into business with someone you’ve just met. Get to know them. Go on a hiking trip, if you must: you’ll quickly figure out whether you like them or not.
Who Are They?
Yes, you know who they are, vaguely, and they’ll happily provide answers to any questions you might have about their life. But that won’t tell you who they really are; what their weaknesses, their past mistakes, their financial history and standing are like. For that, you need to do your own research. Look at hiring a private investigator to ascertain if there are any details that you need to know, but which your prospective partner might not volunteer themselves. You can also check their social media profiles to get a feel for anything else that might not share openly with you.
What Do They Add?
You might like the person, and they might have stellar credentials, but what will they actually bring to your company? Even if they do have skills that will push your business forward, that doesn’t automatically make them a good business partner: they might bring the same skills if you just brought them on as a regular, paid employee. Only be willing to give up some control of your company if you know they’ll be a valuable, indispensable asset when it comes to pushing the business forward.
What Do They Want?
They’re not going to become your partner out of charity, or because they love everything about your vision. They will have ideas of their own, and as a partner, they’ll have every right to put them into action. Before going into business together, you’ll need to know what they hope to get out of the venture. If you’re on the same page, then it might be a match made in heaven.
What Does Your Gut Say?
Finally, don’t ignore your good old instincts. This is the biggest decision you’ve had to make so far; if something doesn’t feel completely right, it’ll be a sign you need to walk away.