By Sam Mollaei, Esq.
Planning to bring on a partner for your existing business? Or to begin a new one? Well, having a partner can be a boon or a bane, depending on the synchronization between the two of you. Several factors should be checked in a partner before you plan to couple up. Here are 11 traits and behaviors to look for in a partner to ensure that partnering up is a wise move.
-Digesting the idea
Whichever kind of business you are in, the partner’s understanding of the idea and vision to reach a certain aspect in the market should be as good as your own. It matters what the customer wants and what you are providing, not what you want. The partner you choose should believe in the idea of work and in the type of environment you’ve created for your business.
-Have completed the homework
Make sure your partner has the needed skills to succeed in his/her role in the business. Be it as a sales manager, programmer, website developer or an accountant, the skill has to be established beforehand that will be enhanced with time.
-Committed even when the ship is sinking
With the glow in one’s eyes and interest in the work, the commitment level can be understood. Make sure his/her dedication is high and the partner doesn’t look for the exit during the time of crisis. Devoted enthusiasts always give the best output as they look for the greater good of the business than the self.
-Knowing the track to reach the goal
When you are in bed with a partner, the goal is the same, but the way each partner seeks to reach it might differ. Some partners thrive to go fast and end up going alone, but to go far, you have to go together. The approach to a problem or a plan is what matters in the growth and life of a business. There should be compatibility of long-term outlook.
-The ability to hear each other out
At times brothers fight and so do partners. While in a dispute about a decision, both partners should hear out the other for the proposal. The ability to let go is what makes the mind be at peace, which fetches the best decisions and ultimately, the best results.
No marriage is official unless it’s signed with an agreement; before that it’s all dreams and fairy lands. Partners should have a signed agreement to avoid any hindrance when the real profit drives in. Official signed papers have to be made and stored for any possibility of the future.
-Business doesn’t mix with emotions
He might be your brother or a cousin or a close friend, but when selecting a business partner, the emotions have to be kept away. Logical decisions are needed when you step into the market. If you choose a partner based on your emotion or if you allow emotion to be involved in decision making once the partnership is formed, you will create drama by hurting feelings and instead of doing what’s best for the business.
-A penny saved is a penny earned
This isn’t just applicable for a daily life; it actually works in the business life. Your partner should know that spending money on pointless things just lowers your overall business value. The partner should also be bold enough to tell you your wrongful expenditures whenever required.
-Don’t dream the future
Dreaming about what a new partner can lead to in the future is a waste of time and energy. Your focus should be on what actions he/she can take today to gain profits, to survive until the tomorrow. Sure, planning for the future is wise, but a prolonged drag into it will sink you soon.
Sometimes, while a partner has great abilities to work, to lead and to make good decisions, he/she may not be strong enough to admit when an error. A partner should have the integrity to take ownership of his/her mistake. Also, no hesitation in bending down to ask for someone’s help is also a part of the integrity.
-Prefer human over the machine
Not in literal sense, but all work and no play will make you a dull person. With all the abilities the to-be partner possesses, if he doesn’t socialize among the fellow partners, then he is no better than a machine! Prefer a lively person with good interpersonal capabilities over someone with great competences who has no interpersonal skills.
Finally, when choosing a partner, you would want another you with a different set of capabilities for the success of the business. If you fail in any way in finding the right partner, don’t stop. Learn from your mistakes and keep going. Because it’s either success or nothing.
Sam Mollaei, Esq., is a business lawyer from Los Angeles, California, who helps entrepreneurs and business owners start and grow their business. Sam can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 818-925-0002.