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What Should You Look for in a Good Business Partner?

by Kylie Ora Lobell
money & life

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When entrepreneurs go into businesses with partners, they end up spending a lot of time with these people.

They have to work together more than 40 hours a week, talk about difficult topics, and make crucial decisions on a day-to-day basis. The most successful entrepreneurs know the importance of having the best possible business partner, in order for their businesses to flourish.

For most entrepreneurs just getting started, it may not be clear right away, however, who they should go into business with. Or, they’ll be considering friends and can’t decide whether or not that’s a good idea.

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If you want to find someone who will be a reliable partner to build a business with, make sure they possess these essential qualities that the best business partners will naturally have.

Someone Who Has Different Skills Than You

Let’s say you’re impatient, creative, and great at socializing.

You should seek out a partner who is going to be more patient, excellent at critical thinking (taking your big ideas and turning them into actionable to-do’s), and perhaps more introverted.

This is because you and your business partner should each bring your own unique skills into the business. If you’re both stubborn, for example, you may never get any work done because you’ll always be at war with one another.

One of you can be stubborn, but the other must be flexible, empathetic, and understanding if you want to make meaningful progress with your business.

Someone Who Has a Great Work Ethic

If you don’t know where to look for a business partner, start by contacting old coworkers or associates you’ve worked with in the past.

How to Find the Best Business Partner

Reach out to those who had a solid work ethic, and who you know would be willing to put in the extra time and energy to help get your business off the ground. It’s even better if you can find someone who is harder working than you, so that you can build off of their energy and push yourself to perform at a higher level.

You don’t want to be the one always having to get your partner to work on a project. Not only will you feel slighted, but it’s also a waste of your precious energy.

Someone Who Has Similar Beliefs

There is a myth out there that going into business with a friend is a bad idea.

Sometimes, friends can make the best business partners if you’ve known them for a long time and realize that you can survive a change in the nature of your relationship. You need to know your partner’s beliefs, and if he or she is your friend, you already are aware of them.

Going forward, you know whether or not you’ll be able to agree on crucial issues with your business, which makes things a lot easier in the short and long run.

Someone Who is a Team Player

Asking your friend who’s a talented freelancer, to go into business with you may not be the best idea. He or she might be used to working independently for years, and may not be as excited about the necessity to collaborate with others.

Instead, seek to find someone who you’ve worked on a team with, or who you know has been a team player in the past. There’s a higher probability that your potential partner will continue to be flexible and able to handle the needs of your team.

Someone Who Will Disagree With You

Your business partner shouldn’t be hesitant to tell you “no,” even if he or she is your friend.

Your business partner should always be willing to disagree with you if it’s in the best interest of the business. Sometimes, you’ll be too close to an issue and won’t be able to see it objectively. Your partner must not be afraid to hold you accountable and challenge your ideas.

Someone Who Has Experience

When going into business with a partner, you want them to have a proven track record.

Make sure your potential business partner possesses experience in your industry, and knows the ins and outs of how to do well in your space.

Having a partner can transform your business. If you have one, you may reach heights you never knew you could attain. Before you commit to a partner, do your research, and figure out whether he or she is right for you and can help you achieve your dreams and beyond.

Want more advice on starting and growing your business the right way? Check out How to Make Money and Grow Your Business with Ramit Sethi.

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Kylie Ora Lobell

Kylie Ora Lobell writes for brands, blogs, and print publications. She covers content marketing, digital marketing, and runs Kylie's Tips for Writers, a blog about writing.