Today, you will learn the importance of having a partner in your business and why you need to. You will the best practices in finding a partner for your business.
But, it doesn’t end there. You will also learn how to create an agreement to avoid Temple Run or Clash of the Titans in future. In my case, I did not take any precautionary measure. The aftermath was a disaster. I will share it with you in this article.
Having a co-founder is your business is like getting married. Depending on the type of business venture, you will spend more time together with your partner than you will with your love ones.
Importance of Having a Business Partner
Division of Labour
In 2017, when I had my first blog. I was the content developer, SEO analyst, web design, customer care representative, etc.
Some weeks, I would spend more time designing the blog or attending to users than writing content. It was very stressful and I did not make any significant progress.
A few months after, I was opportune to work on a Campus Tour project with a partner. That’s when I realized the true power of teamwork. He was very good at working late at night. Before morning, he would create a series of designs for our social media campaigns.
I was good at marketing. I would talk to students on campus all day and make posts on social media then help them sign up for the program.
It is difficult to make rational decisions when you are working alone. You will learn from experience. I.E trying out a nice idea and failing woefully. When you have a business partner you will be able to deliberate on ideas before implementing it.
Distribution of Financial Risk
You may not have enough money to start your business. Finding a partner for your business is a great option. Even though you have all the money in the work. You don’t want to break your piggvest and invest everything you have.
After my blog failed, I was very frustrated because I was out of cash. I had spent a lot of money (savings inclusive) to keep the blog running even when I knew it wasn’t going to work out.
1n 2019, I worked with my team on a project, aimed at helping newly admitted students find their way around campus. We developed the idea, designed the product and launched but our timing wasn’t right. Most of the new students were already acquainted with the campus.
We ended up giving out the products for free to increase our brand awareness. We lost a lot of money too. But, since everyone contributed towards the project. I didn’t feel bad.
Stress / Pain Reliever
Entrepreneurship is hard. There are days when you will feel low and unmotivated. Times when you will lose money. You need someone to cry with.
Your family and loved one will say “Don’t worry, everything will be fine” but they do not have a clue. Your partner will always be in the best position to motivate you and help you stand strong.
What are you looking for in a Partner?
Now that you know the importance of finding a partner for your business. Let’s discuss how to find the right partner for your project/business.
Before you approach anyone, ask yourself;
What skill set is needed for the success of this business?
Example: To run a successful graphic design agency. These are some of the skill set needed; Graphics design, web design, marketing, branding, communication, negotiation, etc.
Which of these skills do I have myself?
Ex: Graphics Design, Negotiation, branding
What talents do you lack that is important for the success of your business?
Ex: Web design, marketing, communication skills?
In the tech industry most especially, we have excellent developers who have built great products (apps, software). But they don’t have any business skills to get their product to their target audience.
Once I spoke with an artist (upcoming #lol) and he told me about this great track that he has released. I asked him to share the song with me through xender and he refused.
When I asked why? he said that someone stole his previous track, so he isn’t sharing the new one.
How is he going to succeed (blow)? I still ask myself his question each time I recall that incident.
No matter how great your product is, if you cannot get it to your target consumers, you will not help anyone nor make a profit.
Answering the questions above will help you acknowledge your need for a partner. Also, you want to be very precise about who you need as your partner.
Let’s go ahead a narrow down your search conditions. Start with asking yourself;
- What exactly am I looking for in a business partner?
- What is the least educational qualification?
- How experienced does the person need to be?
- What personality traits do I need in this person (s)?
Personally, I consider an individual’s passion and willingness to work with me to accomplish a set of goals over someone who has the experience and qualifications but isn’t passionate about the work.
You might have to do a lot of babysitting if you choose passion and willingness over experienced and qualification. Yet, the results show that after a few months of training the person will begin to pick up with your teachings and become better.
When choosing a personality trait, it is normal to want to work with someone who thinks and behaves like you. My first business partner and I had almost the same personality. We were the #JustDoIt gang. We enjoyed implementing more than sitting around and talking.
One time, we were on our way to meet with a bank manager that was supposed to sponsor our event. While in the taxi, I asked him – “Hey Bro, what exactly are we going to tell the manager? He responded “I thought you’ve got that covered? We sat there to structure our presentation.
Yes, we made lots of mistakes. But the manager was surprised at how much we believed in our idea, and the amount of effort we had put into it.
Oh yes! We made it obvious that we will move to the next bank if he isn’t interested.
The story was different when I later partner with a different person on another project. He was my direct opposite. I was suffocating, but when I realized how much time and money I saved from strategically planning before implementing. I had to adjust and learn to work on the slow lane #TeamThinkation.
I and my first partner had a similar temperament – I was 60% Choleric and 40% Sanguine while he was 80% Choleric and 20% Sanguine.
My second partner was more of a Phlegmatic (80% roughly) and 20% Choleric while I still remain my humble self.
In the future, I will write about temperament and how we can leverage on it for maximum productivity but before then I will encourage you to get and read this great book from the father of temperament – Dr. Tim LaHaye .
To have a well-balanced team, you might consider looking out for a partner who is completely different from you, in terms of temperament, likes and dislikes, introversion and extroversion.
You might also consider promoting diversity which might be a great factor if you intend accessing international grants. Considering getting a partner in a different age group, gender, ethnic or cultural background.
This will help you leverage experience and views when strategizing and implementing new ideas in your business. This list for what to look for in a partner is inexhaustible.
Finding a Partner for your Business?
You can start with your direct network. In my case, I research among my colleagues in school. This is why I still recommend that youths should start planning their future while they are still in school.
It might be difficult to access that audience once you are out of school. Also, it might be difficult to manage business and academics but it is not impossible.
Please, don’t be like the upcoming artist who was scared of sharing his song because he didn’t want anyone to “steal it”. Feel free to talk about your business ideas at the slightest chances, someone might be interested. If someone steals your idea then it wasn’t good enough.
Whether you like it or not. Once you hit the market other people will try to copy you. If you keep playing small, another person will have the same idea and implements it.
Have you ever had an idea that felts so original and new but while you took months pondering over it, you found out that someone else started doing it. If this has happened to you before leave a quick “Yes” in the comment box with the hashtag #FlyingIdea – Yes
Protip2: Before sharing your idea, make sure that it has been developed to a certain extent. You can also prepare a non-disclosure agreement and ask the persons to sign them before you share the ideas with them.
Another advantage of sharing your ideas with your friends is that – you might not necessarily find a partner. But you will get valuable feedback that will help you position your business.
Alternative, if you still have a problem finding a partner among your friends or close network. You might ask them to recommend someone in their circle that might be suitable for your project.