Before you decide to start a business with someone or even partner with someone on different projects, consider a few questions.
1. Is their business idea viable?
A little research will help you figure out whether or not you should pursue the idea. Start by researching the competition. If the market is filled with the same type of business that you and your partner want to start, you’ll need to find a different angle to make your business stand out.
2. What skills can the other person bring to the table?
If you and your business partner have similar skills, who is going to fill in the gaps? Both of you may be skilled marketers, but who is going to handle accounting, sales and product development? Ideally, if you can split your responsibilities and make sure each person has specific tasks to handle, your partnership is more likely to run smoothly.
3. Do you have a similar business vision?
Your partner may want to hire a large staff, while you want to start small. You may be cost conscious and penny-wise, but your partner may want to spend money you don’t have. You need to be on the same page and follow a similar path.
4. Is the person organized?
Believe it or not, an organized person can work well with someone who’s disorganized. The secret is for each person to respect and understand the other person’s working style. If your partner is a pack rat, and you’re not going to share an office, so long as he or she meets every deadline and doesn’t drop the ball, it doesn’t matter whether or not his or her office is organized. Yet if your partner is beyond organizing help (more than just the physical part of it), consider whether you’re going to be stuck with most of the work.
5. Do they do as they say?
It’s one thing for someone to say he or she is going to do something, yet another thing to follow through. Consider whether your potential partner will complete projects, handle tasks and meet deadlines. If you’re going to have to remind him or her constantly to finish projects or deliver what he or she has promised. then you’re going to be frustrated day and night.
6. Do they complain all of the time?
No one is happy all of the time and sometimes it feels good to vent. But what if you have to work with someone who complains all of the time? At some point you may cringe whenever the phone rings or whenever you open an e-mail from your partner. Decide whether or not you can put up with a complainer and, at best, redirect the conversation.
As with any relationship, whether business or personal, not everyone makes a good bedfellow. But when you find a good match, your possibilities for success are endless.
How have your partnerships worked out?