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Picking the perfect business partner

There’s a lot on the line when you’re looking to start a new business. Not only is there a lot of money at play, there is also the emotional investment that you’ve made into creating a new business.

Choosing a partner to work with can be an even more stressful task than trying to start the business. On the one hand, it might be easier to do it alone so that there isn’t the added risk of bringing a partner on board, but on the other hand, there are some things that would be handled better by a partner.

Here’s what you should think about when it’s time to look for a business partner.

Get an understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses

A partner isn’t there so that you can duplicate what you’re able to do. A partner can be there for filling in the weak areas.

While pop culture would have us believe weaknesses are something to be ashamed of, the reality is that weaknesses are something we all have and deal with. The real danger is in trying to get away without acknowledging them.

Getting a fair assessment of where your strengths and weaknesses are will help you narrow down the traits and skills you should look for in a partner. Or, if you already have a partner in mind, doing this analysis will help you think about areas where the partner you had in mind may not be able to meet your needs.

Know your core values

Equally important is a partner who shares the same values. While you don’t have to agree on everything, there are going to be certain things that are deal breakers if you disagree. Do an honest evaluation of your core values and ask any potential partner to do the same.

Make sure each of you has a clear understanding of what your core values are and what it means to each of you to keep them. A disagreement over values will sour a partnership fast.

Work-life balance

Starting a business is no easy feat. Going in, you know there will be long hours and times that the money coming in doesn’t match the effort going out. No one wants to feel like they’re doing all the heavy lifting. When you’re looking for a partner, make sure you find someone who can complement you in this area.

On the flip side, have a clear understanding of each other’s priorities outside of work. Know what the other needs to be energized and motivated to keep the business moving. Being able to look out for each other both in and out of the office will help form a strong partnership.

No matter what kind of partnership you’re looking to form, having a reliable and engaged partner is critical. Be sure to take your time in choosing the right partner to go into business with.

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