Finding a great business partner with the right skillset for your company can be one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a business owner. Going about it can be easier said than done though, so just how should you start looking for the perfect business partner?
In this blog, we discuss finding a business partner who is a valuable asset to your company with tips from our expert team…
Business partner skills
Firstly, thinking about the skills that are important or missing in your business can help you narrow down options. Perhaps you have a great knowledge of your industry and products but lack confidence in crunching the numbers. Having someone whose skills complement yours can be invaluable.
When you’ve built a business from nothing yourself, it can be hard to let go. However, it’s important not to get caught up in perfection and doing things your way. If you can find someone with the same passion and drive for your industry and business you’re halfway there.
Speak to colleagues and friends
One of the easiest places to start looking for a business partner is by thinking about your colleagues and friends. While many people advise against going in to business with a friend, as long as you outline expectations and agree ways of working in advance, your friendship can prove a benefit rather than a hindrance. Just be prepared that if things don’t work out with your new business partner, your friendship may suffer. If there’s no-one who seems immediately suitable, approach friends and colleagues about people they may know for a trusted recommendation.
If you’re looking to meet new likeminded people, networking is one of the easiest ways. Select the best events by thinking about the skills you’d like your business partner to have – perhaps you’d like someone with a wealth of industry knowledge, in which case going to targeted industry events is advisable. If you’re a local business and lack local connections or market knowledge, consider attending local networking breakfasts, events and dinners.
Invest in the person behind the experience
While your business partner should bring experience to your company, don’t overlook the importance of personality. You’ll need to not only gel with this person as you’ll be making crucial business decisions with them, but you’ll want to trust them too. Trust your gut instinct – do you value their opinion and are their intentions genuine in life as well as business?
Keep an open mind
While finding a business partner with vast experience in your area of business can seem like the dream, it’s important not to overlook people who may not seem like the obvious choice. For example, if you’re very particular in the way you deal with certain aspects of your business and wouldn’t value an alternative opinion, consider someone with different experience. That way, you may find you both have control over specific areas of the business without clashing on details.
Finally, don’t forget that mentoring and business support is available for SMEs in East Sussex. The Business East Sussex advisors have many contacts and may be able to point you in the right direction to finding your perfect business partner.
Get legal advice
Don’t get so caught up in the excitement of finding your perfect business partner that you forget to protect yourselves. Get legal advice on your partnership and where you both stand at the beginning to avoid complications further down the line. Partnership break-ups can be just as messy and upsetting as divorce!