In the last decade, we’ve learned a lot about finding (and being) a good business partner.
We’ve had some really GREAT business partnerships, some okay ones, and (if we’re being totally honest) some really horrible ones!
Looking back over the last decade (because hindsight is 20/20, right?) we’ve developed a few things that we always consider before jumping in to our next business partnership.
Hopefully, these 5 things will help you when finding your next business partner.
Talk to people they’ve worked with in the past
A lot of our problems over the last decade could have been avoided if we would have had honest conversations with previous business partners.
Look at projects they’ve done in the past. Talk to people they’ve worked with (and it doesn’t just have to be in a business capacity) to learn more about how they work.
If they don’t have any references but they’ve been working for the last 5 years, that’s not a good sign.
Consider someone who compliments you
Find a business partner who compliments your strengths.
If you share the exact same weaknesses, it can create some big holes in your company. Going in to business with someone who is just like you isn’t great for long-term business.
If you’re a big thinker and dreamer, finding someone who is detail-oriented and able to play a devil’s advocate will serve you well.
Trust your instincts
We don’t think there are enough people who realize how much you’ll rely on your instincts in business.
You know that feeling you get when something seems “off”? Like things just aren’t adding up or things don’t quite add up?
TRUST THOSE FEELINGS.
If we had listened to our gut feelings instead of brushing them aside, it could have saved us a lot of time. And legal fees 😜
Do a small project together first
If you’re wanting to go into business with someone, try working together on a small project first.
A short collab can help you see how they communicate. It can also show you how they work under pressure, with deadlines, and how your business styles mesh.
It’s a great way to have a “trial run” of your partnership to see if you really want the full deal.
ALWAYS have a contract
We’ve said this once, and we’ll say it until the end of time: always, always, always get. it. in. writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s your lifelong best friend, your neighbor, your sibling, your parent, or your spouse.
We’re talking a *legitimate* legal contract. (Not one that’s drafted up by your sisters’ friend’s cousin who is still in law school.) This will help you clearly define your roles, responsibilities, and investment and save you problems down the road.
PS – Our lawyer, Brittany Ratelle, has legal templates that are perfect for this situation. You can get 15% off her templates with the code StartupSpark15.
Want to hear more about business partnerships?
We talked more about how we work together in this podcast episode.
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