What's the best way to find a co-founder/partner?
I am thinking it might make sense to bring on a partner. What's the best way to find someone? I am thinking about going to more events, but not sure it makes sense to partner with someone I don't really know. That said, I also am not sure the people I know have the right skills. I would like to find someone to share the workload though.
Instead of Co-founder/Partner.. Create a team of franchise or associate. It will be more workable. You should have a network that is specilised in their job and do a profit sharing on each event. This will protect you from risk and for those who joins you on event management.
In my experiences, I have partnered with a close friend, and also with an acquaintance. I met the latter at a mixer. We had mutual friends, and I knew of him and some things he did that were similar to my venture. We got to talking and he wanted to meet a week later. We discussed a partnership and immediately moved to the legalities of it. It worked out well. I would say get out there and see what you come across. Always put your brand out there to see who bites. You never know!
I had an excellent experience with my first partner/investor. I was 28 and he was 64. He advertised in our local newspaper about wanting to fund a startup, and I replied. His mentoring stayed with me all my life, where now, after many successes and failures (including taking two companies public), I can mentor others,. Perhaps I was lucky or maybe somebody was looking out for me.
Bringing on a partner today is not that easy. There are a lot of Angel investors and a lot of companies who look to fund businesses. In all cases they take a piece of the business. Usually you put together a business plan and show the financial projections. They analyze and if it looks sound they will invest. Be careful because they can usually spot where you are short in your request, e.g., you seek $50,000 and they see that you really need $100,000. They give you the $50k and wait until you need more at which time they take a bigger slice (control) of your business.
Check your competitors. Maybe they are in the same boat and need a partner. Combining businesses may work for both of you.
Look to business people with whom you have worked and see if there may be a fit.
What kind of business? Perhaps if you explain more I can offer more solutions.
Trust is the common factor for partnerships,you can have someone whom you trust and has the right skills to work with.Also can sign a partnership contract with the same person.
I always believe in attending networking groups. Exposing your business while networking with like-minded individuals
It is advisable to network to find a partner with matching interests. Start to build mutual trust with initial working relations. Choose to partner when you are assured of a person who is capable, rightly skilled & possess similar interests and goals.
I have done startups for 20 years - the co-founder/partner decision is one of the most important decisions you will make and could mean the difference in building a successful company or driving it into the ground. Once you partner with someone, it's difficult to undo - even if you've got all the paperwork in place.
You may be surprised with who you know. I would definitely dig deeper into who you know and who you've worked with in the past to see if there's a fit. Many skills can be learned. I would go with someone I trust and who has the drive to succeed over someone with the perfect skillset but questionable character any day. Not sure what skills you need, but many activities can be outsourced, so you can find contractors and freelancers to do any skill-specific efforts.
I recommend that you think about what you feel you need in a co-founder/partner that will complement your capabilities. Think broadly though, don't confine these capabilities to specific skills. For example, if you're a technical person, someone with a business background could be helpful.
If you can't find someone you already know, then networking at startup events such as Co-Founders Lab may help you find someone. I would recommend working with that person on a contract basis first though before forging a formal co-founder/partner relationship. That way you can test the person out first.
Sharing a work load means more commitment in insuring the work is done. Id advise you get an assistant who you can control than a partner. Quality control is maintained by an assistant unless the partner brings in more cliental. Then their introduction is benefital to the business.
Always do a trial period before anything is in stone. I do venture capital and I cant tell you how many times after our 4 week trial we find a person is someone we would never want to work with. You cant predict humans, testing is the only way to know. Go for coffee before ordering the Lobster ;)
By inviting the FAM Trips and discuss our business modules.
This is one of those give it up to the universe and see what happens. I would try and not be looking for a partner because I think you are really looking for a solution. Be open minded for what that solution may look like and be ready to act on in when you find it.
Do follow Jeff and other peoples advice, network, form an advisory council (good way for you to form a networking group) and through that effort you may find someone to collaborate with.
I always advise my clients that partnership should be a last resort. Can you explain why you think a partner is something you need?
With my personal experience , I do understand that it is really difficult to find right partner. For business your partner is stands for many areas , majorly for start-ups first focus goes to monetary aspects of the business. If you are looking for partner than need to decide in which area/ function of business should be taken care by him/her, How much you can change yourself & allowed someone to change in your plan & dream. I am sure you already clear about your business needy area & long term plans. Moreover, there is no certain ways to find it though many ventures successfully find even unknown partners and working really well on strong base of business vision , Plans & policy , Control plans etc., It is great if you can share more details to be more specific and I try my best to help in more ways. Lets learn new ways :)
Skills can be acquired, workload and specific workplace needs can be contracted out.
If you are at a place where you are seriously considering a partner in your business, I strongly advise seeking someone who shares your core beliefs and values. Core beliefs and values carry the load when nothing else will. They keep you and your partner focused on what is important in professional and personal life and provide a safety net of mutual respect when you disagree on key decisions.
As I've been passing through the same - it is not good idea to find partners on events as they are looking for their reasons. You need someone who will share your reason (your view, problems, and achievements) Here is not only matter of skills, firstly here is matter of compassion. Try firstly establish your point of view. Where you are, which way you going to go, and what goal(s) will be yours. And than make a profile of person you need. As soon you made this you will have a Vision of person(s) you need and then you will meet such persons occasionly (i.e. Universe will helps by replying to your request)
There are a couple of ways to look into this. First identify why you want a partner? It is hard to run a company if the partners do not see eye to eye. There are legal and financial implications as well. Out line for yourself what exactly you would want from the partnership, and the skill sets necessary to move the company to the next level. Once you have done this, it may help you decide whether it is a partnership or an employee that you want.
If you decide on a partners their are business brokers you can approach as well as expanding your network as you suggested.
I have a partner and for the most part it is the best thing I ever did. We compliment each others skill sets. You have to enter the relationship like a marriage.
I hope this helps.
Jen - Finding a partner in business should be done very carefully. My suggestion based on my experience would be to first do a lot of research. Make your network know that you are looking for partner and build (I can help) a clear and well-defined criteria which covers some key important aspects such as trust, mutual respect, alignment to knowledge, skills and talents. Meet your prospects and may be its worthwhile to initially partner on focussed, task based assignments. e.g. Partner for a Marketing event, Partner for building a proposal - and soon you will know that among people you work with - someone will demonstrate passion, commitment, knowledge and skills you are looking for. Obviously, you have to do the background checks and education/qualification may not be a deciding factor, accomplishments and achievements in the relevent industry or sector could give your sufficient details about the person. If divorces are often painful, parting with a partner in business is equally painful and price is often heavy - so take time, do some research, try people on assignments and when you feel you have found a friend you can trust who ticks all 'vital' and most 'essential' boxes - and can commit to ups and downs of business, has the temperament to deal with failures - go for it.
Hope this helps - I haven't written anything specific but there is no secret formula I can bet.
First, you need to conduct a self analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. Next, develop a description of the person you'd like to partner with. That description should include your weaknesses being that person's strengths. That description should also include how the partnership will work. Will the partner need to invest financially from the start or will they earn equity from time invested? Will there be a trial period before any formal arrangement will be finalized? Highly, recommended because only in adversity do you truly learn how the other person is going to react.
Once you have that description developed. Develop a legal agreement that spells out all the aspect of a partnership — and how that partnership will dissolve.
Create an advisory panel to help you interviewing prospective partners. It'll be a good way for weeding out those who don't fit your needs, especially when you maybe too close to the situation.
Avigail is correct. Network, network, network. I'd also utilize the chambers of commerce, trade associations, SCORE (http://score.org) and the small business development centers.