Are you looking to go into business and find the peanut butter to your jelly, the goose to your maverick, the Selma to your Louise? When you’re in business and you have a partner, things can be great. The risk and workload are reduced. Everything is a lot more fun. Having a great partner could be amazing. But, having a bad partner may ruin a friendship, make you go bankrupt and may just destroy your whole personal life. So, make sure you get a reliable business partner. Below are ten ways to find a reliable business partner.
The first criteria and this is the biggest filter you’ll need, is that person or company has got to be trustworthy and highly ethical. When you’re dealing with your money and your business you must make sure that whoever you’re dealing with is very trustworthy.
They must share the same vision because they could have the best values in the world and very trustworthy. But if in your mind, your business is going in one direction and in their mind, the business is something else, that’s a problem.
Complements Your Weaknesses
The third criterion is you need a partner that complements your weaknesses, so they aren’t very strong in areas that you are strong.
Do a Background Check
Finally, before you settle for any individual or company to partner with, do a background check on them. There are numerous background check websites where you can find information on anyone.
Keep You Accountable
You want a partner to keep you accountable. Just like people hire personal trainers, not necessarily because they need to know how to do a push-up or a squat, but they want and need accountability. So find a partner that can keep you accountable.
Your potential partner should have work or business experience that will prove useful to the business.
Has Shared Customers
If you’re looking to partner with a company, does that company have a shared customer base? Do they have a large majority? Because many times big companies want to partner with startups because they want to get access to your customers. But if you look at their customer base, it could be old, dull, not innovative, not early adopters. So is that truly your ideal customer? Probably not.
Do you have an early upfront financial commitment from your potential partner? When you’re building your startup, it’s easy, especially if you’re small and they’re big. It’s easy for you to get excited about the opportunity and start thinking about how you will generate so much revenue But the truth is, a big company may take a while to make decisions.
Strategic alignment is specifically around the product road map. For example, you may get a call from a big company that wants to partner with you, but they want you to change a few features on your product. Make sure that the alignment of what they need from you as a partner and where you want to go on your product roadmap are in the same direction.
Make sure that there’s brand alignment right. Specifically, make sure that you understand their brand values and ethics, and these are aligned with your own.