Are you ready to open up your business to an investor or a business partner? This might indeed be the most efficient way of expanding one’s business and bringing some fresh perspectives and creativity on board. Choosing a business partner doesn’t always have to be tricky. Use this checklist to find the best option for you and your business.
By Craig Falck at Africa Report
1. Can you trust them? This is the number-one factor – if you can’t trust your business partner, you will spend more time worrying about what they are doing than focusing on your business, which is your primary concern.
2. What do they bring to the game? When choosing someone to share in your dream, they must bring a quantifiable asset to the business, be it in the form of capital, skills or physical assets that will help the business to move forward.
3. What is their business reputation? Word travels fast in the business world, and if you’re in partnership with someone who has a bad reputation or dodgy past, you could find yourself losing out on vital work just because of your partner’s name.
4. Are they committed? You have your dreams and ideas set out before you and you know how you want to get there. What happens if your partner has other ideas? If you share a common goal, business will be so much easier.
5. Are the communication channels open? We’re not talking language barriers here – are you and your partner able to communicate thoughts, ideas and business topics properly? If you want to get somewhere, you both need to know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.
6. Don’t look for your clone. When choosing a business partner, look for someone who shares your dreams and can help you get there, but at the same time don’t pick someone who has the same skills as you. You know what they say about too many cooks…
7. Business comes first. When you’re at work, work is your priority. The same should go for your partner. If they have too much personal baggage taking up their office time, less effort and time is invested in the business.
8. Do research. Just because someone comes along with a bag full of money, it doesn’t mean that they’re the right partner or investor. Do thorough background checks and assess your options before committing yourself (and your business) to someone.
9. Know where you stand. This is your business and you’re inviting someone to join you. Set out terms and conditions in their contract, as well as cover yourself legally.
10. Ask, ask, ask! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more you know about the person, the better.
Ticking the boxes won’t assure you that the person you’ve found is the right partner for your business. But it will give you a strong backbone on which to make a decision. The next step will be to take the risk that may finally help your business grow tremendously; that’s the power of shared efforts.