There are over 30 million small businesses in the United States today, spanning various industries ranging from healthcare to mining and covering everything else in between. Each small business in the US is at its own stage of development—while some are seasoned and going steady, others are just getting started and are dealing with ups and downs. No matter what stage a business is in, though, all businesses require funding or income to operate. The average cost of starting a business can range from as little as a few thousand dollars to more than $100,000.
While the cost of starting and operating a business will vary from company to company and industry to industry, the costs are there for entrepreneurs of all types running companies in all different stages. Many business owners will turn to loans and similar financing options to get the money that they need, but there are alternative funding methods as well. For example, crowdfunding is a financing option that more and more companies are using these days. Another option is to bring on a business partner who can also act as an investor, but there are other benefits to bringing on a business partner besides the potential investment.
A business partner, even if they aren’t making a financial investment into your company, can help you run the company more smoothly and efficiently, can bring needed skills to the table, and can even act as a mentor in some cases, or at least a support system when you need it. You have to be careful when bringing on a partner, though. Not all people will be a good fit for you and your company, and not all people will make a good business partner in general. If you’re considering bringing on a business partner and have a few people in mind, make sure that they have the qualities of a good business partner before sealing the deal.
You Don’t Have a Personal Relationship with Them
While there are times when it may pay off to go into business with a family member or a friend, generally it’s a bad idea. Even if you get along in real life, getting along in the business world is a whole different story. You may have different levels of commitment to the business, different work ethics, and different ideas of how the money should be split or spent which will undoubtedly put a strain on both your professional and personal relationships. If you’re looking for a business partner, it’s better to find one who you don’t already have a close personal relationship with.
Their Skills Fill in Your Gaps
Everybody has strengths and weaknesses; if you’re looking for a business partner, you’ll want to find someone’s whose strengths are different than your own. While it may be good to have some overlapping strengths, partnering with someone who can take charge in the areas you’re weakest will help your business go further and be stronger.
They’re Open to Change and New Ideas
Change can be hard as can accepting new ideas; however, if you partner with someone who is completely averse to doing things differently, you’ll stunt the growth of your business. For example, because technology is constantly changing, you’ll want to partner with somebody who is all for getting people to follow on Instagram and adopting new software as opposed to someone who is anxious about technology and determined to do things the old, outdated way.
They Don’t Take Everything Personally
Business is business, but it can sometimes be difficult to separate personal emotions even when it comes to business decisions and situations. If you are looking for a business partner, then you’ll want to find someone who can make that distinction and keep their personal feelings separate from business matters as best they can. Otherwise, you could end up with some serious complications and relationship strain on your hands.
Your Values and Motives Align
You likely started your business with a goal, purpose, and drive pushing you forward, and if you want to bring on a business partner, then you’ll want to find someone who shares the same values and motives as you. If you started your business to make a difference in the world, but your partner wants to get involved only because of the earning potential, that will open you up to some serious conflicts and frustration as you try to move forward making the decisions that are best for the company and clients while your partner tries to do what will make the most money.
You Trust Them to Get Things Done
Running a business is a lot of work, and it takes a lot of energy. If you want to bring on a business partner, part of your motivation is likely to have someone else to help you get things done and keep the business moving forward. That makes it extremely important that you find a partner who you can trust to get the job done so that you don’t have to stress and worry when you leave things in their hands, and so that the business can operate as smoothly as possible.
Bringing on a business partner offers a lot of benefits, but it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. Whether or not that partner will be investing money, you need to consider if you’ll be able to work well with them, trust them to get things done, and if they can separate business from personal. Your business partner and your partnership could be just the thing that determines whether or not your business grows and thrives or eventually dies.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a business partner?