Starting My Own Business

Choosing the Right Business Partner

Written by Nidhi Ann Raj for Gaebler Ventures

Statistically speaking, businesses started by partners do better than businesses started by individuals. Choosing the right business partner, however, can be quite a challenge.

Just as choosing the right business product is vital for the success of any initiative, so is the selection of the right partner to start it up with.

Choosing the Right Business Partner

Choosing a business partner is like choosing a life partner. As a rule of the thumb, you should know a person very well for at least 3-4 years before you decide to choose him/her as your business partner.

This is important because it takes a long time to understand the true nature of a person. Trust, honesty and integrity are the most important factors in any business relationships. These values should be understood by both sides.

Some of the most important questions to answer before making this crucial choice include the following:

  • Why would you choose this person to others?
  • Does he share your vision about the company? Vision mismatch is a known partnership mistake.
  • Does he have the right financial resources to add to your limited budget?
  • Does he have the ability to make vital decisions and handle risks?
  • Does he have sound knowledge on your proposed business idea and the skills to improvise on it?
  • Does he compliment and supplement to your skills set?
  • Most importantly, is he a good team player and reliable person?

Some people also argue that age is an important factor, as it is easier to get along as partners, if you belong to the same age group. However, this may not always be true.

Young and inexperienced people are occasionally manipulative and short-sighted. On the other hand, if you are young too, you and your partner may be able to understand each other well and share your long term goals for the company.

All said and done, although it is good to have a partner in business, ensure that you do not rely on them entirely to run the show.

Nidhi Ann Raj is a gifted writer who is currently pursuing post-graduate studies at George Brown College in Toronto Canada, where she is specializing in Marketing and Finance.

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Offer your comments, suggestions and questions regarding choosing a business partner. We appreciate your participation!

  • lydia birungi posted on 2/12/2009
    lydia birungi
    Ya i find right to first of all study the business partner then you move on. But is it really viable to be with a family member in business? Thank you alot for your advice. LYDIA FROM UGANDA (EAST AFRICA)
  • Ken Gaebler posted on 2/13/2009
    Ken Gaebler
    Lydia, I think it completely depends on the specifics of your own situation and how you get along with your family members. Many family businesses do well, while others implode because of family member fighting. You can learn more about family businesses by reading articles in the Family Businesses section of the site. Good luck to you

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