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Tips to help you find the right business partner

Before you launch your new business, you make one of the most crucial decisions in the entire process: You pick a business partner. The person you choose could make or break your new company. They simply have to be a good fit. You must be critical and carefully consider what it will be like to work together moving forward before you commit to anything.

Finding the right person can be hard. What do you look for? What is most important? What red flags should you be aware of? There are a lot of questions to ask, so here are some tips that can help you get started:

1. Start with your values; they need to match

What is it that you value most? Do you want to run a company that helps others? Do you want to value things like dependability and professionalism? What type of company culture do you want to create? You need someone who shares these values and who will work with you every step of the way.

2. Make sure your personalities match

No matter how experienced, educated and well-trained someone is, they may not be a good fit if you simply do not like one another and you do not get along. There has to be a genuine connection. Remember, if you put in standard hours, you're going to spend 40 hours a week together. With most new businesses, it's much more than that.

3. Make sure you share the workload

Have a serious talk up front about what responsibilities you will each have and exactly what you will do for the company. Make sure that it's roughly even. You need a partner who takes on as much of the daily work as you do, someone who puts in the same hours and has the same drive to succeed. Any difference here can breed resentment and slowly undermine the relationship and the company.

4. Consider what you can't do

What skills do you lack? What are your weaknesses? Maybe you're great with people but bad with numbers. Maybe you love the intellectual side of the job but you hate giving presentations and networking. Just think about the skills you have and then seek out a business partner who has the opposite skills, who is a perfect complement to you. This also helps with tip number three, in that this type of person will naturally wind up sharing responsibilities with you as you each address your strong suits.

Starting your company

Once you have identified the right person and started that business relationship, it's time to launch your new company. Make sure you are well aware of all of the legal steps you need to take.

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