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 ;)