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Starting a business comes with a lot of responsibilities. There are a lot of factors that determine the successful launch of a startup, like your business plan, funding options, marketing strategy, and onboarding your team members.
When it comes to hiring your team, finding the right business partner or co-founder, is a critical step.
Finding a suitable co-founder for your business is hardly a cakewalk, but taking the time to choose a qualified co-founder will definitely pay off in the long run. In this post, we take a look at some practical tips on how to find a co-founder that is sure to help lead your startup to success.
1. Find Someone with the Right Skill Sets
When choosing a co-founder, you need to look for someone with complementary skill sets, as well as bring something new to the table. An ideal co-founder is one who is well-aware of industry trends and understands how to handle business operations.
For instance, in this digital era, a perfect match is a business partner who understands the technology needed to drive innovation within your market and is business-oriented.
Keep in mind, finding a complementary co-founder isn’t just about determining abilities in the other person, you also need to reflect on your own capabilities. You might have to acknowledge the skills you lack in order to find a partner who can fill the gaps.
2. Ensure You Both Are On the Same Page
Beyond your business ideas, services, or products, it’ essential to outline the brand strategy as much as possible with your potential co-founder to make sure your vision is aligned from the get-go. When interviewing potential co-founders, consider the following questions:
- Do you envision a quick exit, an IPO, or long-term growth?
- Do you want to build a small company or a large company?
- Do you focus on doing only one thing well, or are you a multitasker?
- Are you open to service or product expansion down the line?
Answers to these questions can help you in identifying whether or not you both have the same priority.
3. Turn to the Internet to Find a Co-founder
Your business partner is someone who can make or break your startup. To find a perfect fit, look to online sources. Try putting a job posting on sites like LinkedIn.
There are also several “matchmaking” platforms where you can find your business partner, StartupAgents, FounderDating, YouNoodle, and Founder2Be.
4. Talk About Your Business Philosophies
As you go through the interview process it’s crucial to discuss your organizational and business philosophies. Have an honest and open conversation about cultural values, beliefs, and ethics, as well as how these components apply to your leadership style and how you can integrate them into your startup.
Also, ask questions that get to the core of the business philosophy of a person, such as:
- How would you describe your leadership style?
- How do you define success?
- Where do you see yourself after 3, 5, or 10 years?
- What are your priorities in life?
- What is the biggest challenge for you in running a business?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What do you do when things go wrong?
Whereas skill sets must be complementary, business and organizational philosophies should be the same to avoid conflicts down the road.
5. Go with Your Gut
Ultimately, a successful business partnership comes down to having balanced and genuine chemistry. You need to reflect on your own personality and skills in order to determine if it will be a good match. Once you have a good understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses, consider asking the following question of potential candidates:
- What type of person are you?
- Are you able to be yourself around others?
- Are you comfortable with sharing your thoughts?
- Do things, "Click?"
In addition to one-on-one interviews, it’s important to observe a potential co-founder in a work setting to pay attention to details, like:
- What is their work or management style?
- How does that person handle stress, bad news, and disagreements?
- How do they interact with other employees?
If something doesn't seem right, just go with your instincts, and address the problem immediately. Business partnerships are long-lasting relationships, so take your time before closing the deal.
For the success of your newly launched business, finding the ideal co-founder is a critical step. A startup comes with a lot of challenges, so it’s best not to go it alone. Two heads are always better than one. But remember, you’ll both be sharing the long-term opportunity, passion, and risks, instead of just getting paid to do a job.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you make your search for a co-founder a little easier. Once you find a suitable business partner, you can work on building your brand together and take the success of the company to the next level.