Excellent article by David Alison, founder of Shared Status, clearly drawn from personal experience, about the do's and don't's of choosing a business partner. In short:
- Choose someone that complements your skills. The bigger areas of concerned are building it and selling it. If you can build it, find someone who can sell it.
- Choose a partner that has connections. Networking is critical to most businesses. Someone who already has connections is extra valuable.
- Define how you will resolve disagreement upfront. There are also a number of other questions you may want to think about.
- Check references. If it's someone you don't know very well, it's worth spending some time doing some extra checks.
And the Don't's:
- Don't choose a partner just because you really like them. They need to bring the right benefits to the table.
- Don't choose someone who has different goals. I would also add, find someone who is at the same stage in terms of material wealth goals.
- Don't worry about offending a potential partner. If they get offended so easily at this stage, it'll be impossible to work with them anyway.
- Don't compromise on the issue of ethics. Peter Drucker, in his book Management, stated (paraphrasing) "Of the skills a manager must bring to the table, integrity is the one that must be there from day one. You can learn most skills, but you can't learn integrity."
David mentioned his next article will be about how to find that elusive partner, now that you know what you're looking for. I look forward to it.
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