You could say that choosing someone to start a business with is a lot similar to choosing a partner to marry.
You and your business partner will be together for years on end, during the course of which, you will have agreements and disagreements, face challenges together, celebrate success together and ultimately work towards a common goal.
Your happiness, peace of mind, growth and prosperity, success or failure—all of these things will be informed by whom you choose as your cofounders.
Here are some of the characteristics you need to seek in your partners if you want your venture to do well.
1. Complementary Skills
There’s no point in having a second you in your venture. Your partners should have qualities that you don’t so that they can complement you and round out the team by bringing other things to the table.
For example, if you’re a programmer, your partner can be a marketing expert; if you’re a designer, she could be a developer. You might want to take personality into account too: if you’re an introvert, you’ll want to look for an extrovert.
Having onboard partners with different personalities would help a lot with things such as management and marketing.
Investors view ventures that are run by partners with different skill sets as attractive places to plough their money in because they know that the venture will be versatile.
When you do procure the funds, you and your partners can leverage your strengths and networks to grow the company faster.
2. The Right Attitude
Having the right attitude is one of the crucial characteristics of an entrepreneur and business partners.
Thus, before you ask someone to come on board, you’ll need to carefully analyse their character. To get a better handle on whom they are, you can work with them on smaller projects and size them up as they work alongside you.
3. Personality Match
It’s been said you should not mix your personal and business lives. The received wisdom is that friends in business and outside of the work sphere are to be treated differently.
But conducting yourself in that prescribed manner is almost impossible for entrepreneurs. More often than not, the partners you work with will end up being your friends away from work too.
Thus, when you are scoping out partners, it is important to find someone you know you’ll be able to get along with away from your office too.
What this means is you’ll want to look for people whom you genuinely like. Building a company from scratch can be exceedingly stressful, and managing the problems that crop up at work can be frustrating at times.
However, doing so becomes much easier if you’re working with someone you’re comfortable with.
4. Passion For The Industry
Your business is not a hobby, and it should never turn into a leisurely pursuit. All your partners should be as passionate as you are about the venture.
You’ll need everyone to give it their all when you need to solve a problem. If they don’t have the passion and the drive to do so, their productivity won’t be up to mark.
During your venture’s early stages, it is extremely important that all the co-founders be invested wholly in the company.
You can only align your goals if everyone cares equally about the company and the product.
You’ll also want your partner to stay updated with industry trends, and they will only be able to do so if they are passionate about the venture.
5. Long-Term Vision
When you start your venture, you and your partners will obviously be excited about how the venture will shape up and about what it will do.
But how motivating will you and partners be after a couple of pivots and iterations in your product, after you make changes to your business model? Things can change.
In fact, things do change. That’s why you’ll need partners who can maintain their long-term vision for the company. Visionary founders stay the course no matter how rocky the journey.
If you and your founders are able to see well into the future even as you execute the day-to-day business objectives, your venture has a strong chance of not only succeeding in the long run but growing at a very rapid clip.
Thus, next time you choose your partner, make sure they uphold these characteristics for the advantage to the team along with the company’s vision.