Finding the right business partner can be a daunting task. In order to turn an idea into a thriving business, sometimes it’s crucial to team up with another visionary rather than going at it solo. But how do you find the perfect partner and avoid clashing chaos? We think these steps might help:
1. Look towards those who you already trust
Building trust can take years. That said, exploring co-workers or connections from previous jobs can cut the time that it takes to develop true confidence in a partner in half. Remember that person from your old office who always seemed interested in your creative pursuits? Go for it. Inform them of your entrepreneurial plans and let them know you’d love to discuss things further. Can’t think of anyone from past jobs? Try asking family members. Families are close-knit, have lifelong ties, and are often more comfortable in communicating their thoughts to one another explicitly. While it isn’t for everyone, working with family members can create solid, understanding business relationships and elevate a growing company.
2. Do some detective work
Found a potential business match in stranger? Awesome, but don’t get ahead of yourself before investigating deeper. It’s easy to sound enthused after hearing an exciting business pitch, but explore someone’s credibility before shaking hands and inviting them on board. What kind of worker are they? How long were they at their previous job? Do they have experience in start-ups? All of these are crucial questions you should ask yourself before immediately partnering up with someone. If possible, it’s also ideal to work with the person first-handedly to experience their style. Getting a glimpse in advance at a potential partner’s work ethic can save you from major clashing and awkward situations in the future.
3. Make your goals clear
It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of a new business pursuit and forget what the ultimate goal is. Make sure potential partners understand what your core purpose is and know that you mean business. Set major and minor goals, create deadlines, and inform possible partners that you intend on accomplishing tasks in a timely, organized manner regardless of how hectic the journey gets. If they’re still game after you’ve laid out the ambitious work ahead of them, you have yourself a winner.
4. Attend B2B matchmaking events
Matchmaking events are exceptional places to meet people who are just as eager to meet you. Also called “brokerage events”, business matchmaking events allow people from similar industries or interests to come together and network in the easiest way possible, kind of like business speed dating. Matchmaking events let you rake through less promising attendees and find the ideal partners, all within a short window of time. To put it simply, matchmaking events don’t waste any of your time. There are tons of B2B matchmaking events out there; you can check out some of ours at b2match at https://www.b2match.com/events.
5. Find a partner whose skills mesh well with yours
In a recent article, Inc.com interviewed several successful entrepreneurs. Charlie Brock, CEO and President of Launch Tennessee, recommends finding a partner whose skills complement yours. In other words, the right partner will have a strong skillset in areas where you may be lacking and vice versa. Not only does having a partner with different skills help your current business pursuit, but it teaches you to improve in weaker areas and ultimately master them, making the probability of success in future projects even greater.
6. Explore local businesses
On Entrepreneur.com, Stever Robbins advocates for utilizing your local business community. Local business newspapers often have sections devoted to upcoming networking opportunities, so check frequently and attend as many nearby events as possible. Local networking events are convenient and easy to find, and you’ll be surprised at the amount of potential partners you can find right in your neighborhood. Robbins also notes that you can also make great connections through a Chamber of Commerce and other specialized networking groups in your community.
Can’t find anyone of interest in local businesses? Robbins also suggests taking advantage of volunteering opportunities. Non-profits and various other volunteer organizations are perfect places to network, but even more, they offer an atmosphere conducive to exhibiting your skills. Once you’ve made a name for yourself as a devoted, reliable volunteer, your new connections will advocate for your work ethic and help you make valuable connections. Networking and giving back definitely make a great combo.