Two Heads Are Better Than One: Your Business Partner

Written by Blake on . Posted in Start a Business

Two heads are always better than one, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship. Two heads means better brainstorming, a stronger support system, more capital opportunities, and more beneficial business suggestions and advice. But how do you know if you are choosing the right partner for your business? Because although two heads are usually better than one, when the two of them clash, a two-headed monster can be born which will send a business into a downward spiral.

Choosing your business partner with sound logic and reasoning is usually the best way to start off—don't partner with someone just because they are your best friend or family member. The purpose of the partnership should be clear in both of your minds. Also, remember that a partnership is a long-term relationship. The two of you must be in it for the long haul.

So what's the best way to choose a partner for your business? Use the tips listed below carefully and you will avoid creating that two-headed monster, and instead, create a well-balanced, beneficial partnership:

1. Determine your own strengths
Know yourself before you go off to find a partner who will work well with you. Try drafting a job description for yourself that lays out what you do well and what you could improve on. Remember to focus on a partner with complementary skills and knowledge.

Keep in mind the two most important aspects of business: sales and products/services. One partner should be able to sell the product for which you might have demand for today. The other partner must provide the right kind of products or services that those particular people desire.

2. Identify the values and characteristics that you like
The partner you choose will influence the image of the company, inside and out. Find someone with the qualities that you look appreciate the most: integrity, honesty, determination, commitment, drive, etc.

Your partner should also uphold the same goals that you do. The goals that the two of you focus on will generate business and turn profit. Find somebody who shoots in the same direction that you do. This also avoids tension that is bound to come into play in future disagreements.

3. Network
More likely than not, your future partner will be someone that you do not know today! Be sure to network on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and of course, the many networking opportunities that are going on in your own city. Ask around; be open and let people know exactly what you're looking for.

In addition, it is extremely beneficial to choose a partner with strong contacts. Networking is a great tool in business. If you can find a business partner who is good at networking, you automatically increase your sales and outreach.

4. Don't be too judgmental
Having an open mind is a critical characteristic to uphold when choosing a business partner. Keep in mind that you will not find the perfect business partner—nobody's perfect. Make sure that you are open to what makes the most sense for you and for the company.

5. Check the references
Do not agree to work with a person unless you have first checked their references. When searching for a partner, ask for three to five references that you can call or email to learn more about the potential partner. Additionally, it may be important to check out the candidate's credit history as well as jobs that they have upheld in the past.

Once you have determined who your partner in the business will be, it is important to sign a partnership agreement. Partnership agreements are contracts that determine the terms and conditions of the relationship. This agreement usually includes: percentages of ownership and distribution of profits and losses, description of management powers and duties, the term of the partnership, how the partnership can be terminated, and how the partner can buy his/her share of the partnership.

A resolution of disagreements must also be made, even before the partnership starts. A resolution of disagreements can also be included in the partnership agreement. This document will lay out how each partner will resolve the conflicts that arise.

So if you're a small business owner looking for someone to share the ups and downs of new business with, follow the steps above to select your ideal business partner. When choosing the right one, you will find yourself reaping the benefits whether its support, help, encouragement or even funding. We know it's tough to go at it alone—find a business partner today!