How to Find the Best Business Partner
The spirit of strong individualism has sunk a lot of ventures over the years. Not to say that standing on your own two feet is a bad thing, but a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the need for a business partner can ruin an otherwise good idea. Many business owners cringe at the thought of another person having any say or control in their company. It can be difficult, but to be truly successful in life you will probably have to learn to relinquish some control. If you are starting to conclude that you might need to take on a teammate to make your startup soar, you have probably already wondered how you will find the perfect match.
The first thing you need to realize is that finding a business partner is that the last thing you want is someone who thinks and acts like you – that would be inviting disaster. What you likely need is someone as close to your opposite as you can stand. If you like to go out and speak in public, your partner should want to stay in the office and crunch numbers or code. If you hate seeing people, find a gadfly. Get the idea? You need someone who will complement your role in the company, not compete with it. A different skill set and personality can result in some discomfort, but commit to working out the minor problems sure to occur, and you will have made a big step in the right direction.
Even if finding a business partner as different from yourself as possible is probably a good idea, you still have to get along and communicate with this person. That can be challenging since you, and your potential partner will likely view the world very differently. What seems crucial to you might seem trivial to your partner and vice versa. Priorities will inevitably be different, and things your partner says may drive you a little crazy. Some experts have gone so far as to suggest that partners should participate in counseling sessions with a professional similar to what engaged couples do to learn how to communicate effectively.
You may not have to get professional help to get along with your business partner, but you will need to make a conscious effort to bridge the communication gap and learn to work together. A perfectly meshed team of two differently skilled business professionals can be a formidable force in the business world.