Many small business ventures get their start as a default general partnership. Two people come up with a great idea for a business, draft a quick business plan and get started. The problem is that many of these businesses fail because the partners were not compatible. Sometimes they both have similar skills and weaknesses, and other times one of the partners just doesn’t give it their all. In one of the worst-case scenarios, one business partner engages in illegal, unethical practices that derail the business. Business Insider highlights the importance of creating a partnership agreement as early as possible in a business venture. Ultimately, the most important aspect of any partnership agreement is the other person signing it with you.
What are five essential attributes you should look for in a business partner?
When starting a business, you should choose wisely as to who you want as your partner. There are many personality traits and backgrounds that may make someone better suited to join you on your business venture. For example, here are five of the most important characteristics of a quality business partner:
- Some knowledge of, or at least appreciation for, business: You might be “the businessperson” and the other person is the “creative type” in your partnership, and that is okay. What becomes more challenging is when your partner is opposed to making financially intelligent decisions about product, marketing or other directional factors in the operation of your business. An artistic purist can derail your business’s profitability.
- A good work history: While some people would prefer to start a business with a relative or close friend, it is important to make sure any potential business partner has a successful work history. Has this potential partner been fired from numerous jobs, or has she been passed over many times for advancement? These could be signs that your potential partner could be a liability.
- Driven: Whether your potential business partner will be working primarily on the creative side, the marketing or business side of the operation, he needs to be someone you can trust to be driven and a good self-starter. All new business ventures require a strong degree of motivation, so make sure your partner is ready to work.
- Personal compatibility: While you don’t need to be best friends with your business partner, you will likely be working with this person a lot. You don’t want to work with someone whose company is distasteful to you, so make sure you can get along well with a potential partner.
- Honest and ethical: Few things can derail a business faster than someone operating unethically or illegally. You don’t want to start a business with someone who might be stealing or creating fraudulent financial reports.
There are many things to consider when starting a partnership. In the excitement of a new business idea, it is surprisingly common for people to neglect one of the most important factors involved: choosing the right business partner. Choose your business partner well, and you will greatly increase your chances for a successful business partnership.