business partner with young adults

How to Find the Perfect Business Partner

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Today I have an awesome guest post from Julia Morrissey. Julia is a content creator who develops helpful guides and compelling stories. Her passion for creative writing has led her to cover unique topics ranging from business to lifestyle. She calls New York City home and enjoys spending time with her rescue dog, running in central park, and finding new vegan dining options around the city.

If you want to turn your brilliant idea into a successful business, then you may want to consider bringing in a business partner.

One of the key components of a successful startup is a good balance of skills within the management team. By including another point of view when making key business decisions, you can help make up for any potential blindspots.

When chosen correctly, you and your business partner can complement each other well and create a flourishing business.

This article will discuss ways to find a business partner, such as tapping into your existing network and attending networking events, as well as what characteristics you may consider seeking out in a business partner.  

Here is how to find the perfect business partner.

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Use Your Network

If you’ve previously worked or gone to school with someone you think could be a great partner, consider reaching out directly to them. If you worked together on projects in the past, you likely know a little bit about their work style and personality.

This can be a huge advantage as sometimes it can be difficult to know how someone is going to operate despite a thorough interview process.

If no one from your professional or educational past comes to mind, you might also consider reaching out to a family member, friend or acquaintance. Sometimes family members and friends can make excellent partners.

Although, it is important to try to keep business separate from pleasure. Even if someone you are close to is not a great fit for the partnership themselves, you can ask them each about their own networks. 

With tools like LinkedIn and other social networking websites, reaching out to people has never been easier. Mutual connections are a great way to find a great partner.

LinkedIn will tell you who you are connected to through other people. You might consider reaching out to your first-degree connection and asking for an introduction.

Recommended: 9 Helpful Resources When Looking for a New Job

Network at Events

The list of networking events to search for a business partner are endless. Conferences, trade shows, seminars, and summits in your area are a few examples of where you can go to network.

The more specific the event, the more likely you will find someone who is as passionate about your business idea as you are. People who love their work tend to want to get more involved in the field, which makes them great potential business partners.

You certainly want to find someone who is going to want to live and breathe this work with you. 

The following events are popular networking opportunities from across the country, but keep an eye on any announcements as some may be moved online or get postponed to a later date due to Coronavirus. 

  • Tech: Future Festival, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
  • Tech: Mobile Growth Summit, New York
  • Art: Art World Conference, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
  • Design: In/Visible Talks, San Francisco
  • Entertainment: Entertainment Industry Conference, Webcast
  • Science: E-Health Conference, Canada
  • Gaming: Game Developers Conference, San Francisco
  • Real Estate: Information Management Network, Washington

Seek Out Someone With a Similar Vision

You and your business partner should be on the same page when it comes to what you visualize for the business. Discussing your vision with a potential partner is crucial to avoiding future conflict. If you share the same vision for the company, you are more likely to succeed as a team. Some questions to consider discussing are:

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Where do you want to see this company in 5 years?
  • What problem do you think this company can solve?
  • If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating, what did we achieve together?

Seek Out Someone With Similar Values

While the technical part of business is important to discuss, questions on business ethics are important as well. You’ll likely want to look for someone who is not only financially driven, but also has strong core values.

While profit is important, it is not necessarily the driving force behind a successful business (or partnership). You will want to know your potential business partners’ stance on key issues as well as how they are likely to handle different situations.

Some questions to consider discussing are: 

  • What does success look like to you?
  • What motivates you?
  • Do you value corporate social responsibility?
  • How do you handle conflict?
  • What issues are you most passionate about?

Look for Someone Who Complements your Skill Set

While two extremely opposite personalities may clash, being too similar may lead to a stagnant partnership.

Finding a partner who complements your skill set is a great way to have a balance of personalities in the business. If you are a creative, it might be beneficial to find someone who is more analytical.

Extroverts and introverts also may benefit from partnering with each other. Introverts can be helpful with listening and documenting feedback, while extroverts may shine during presentations and sales meetings. 

In order to find someone who complements your personality, you will first have to know what personality you have. You can take the Myers-Briggs personality test to identify and learn about your own personality type.

You may ask potential partners to take this test as well, so that you can compare the results and understand if the partnership will be a good fit or not based on your personalities. 

There are 16 personality types according to Myers-Briggs. There are 16 because the results are based on the four ways of functioning, which are dichotomous. These are the groups:

  • Extroversion and Introversion: Where does the individual get their energy?
  • Sensing and Intuition: How does the individual take in information?
  • Thinking and Feeling: How does the individual make decisions?
  • Judging and Perceiving: How does the individual interact with the world outside of themselves?

Some examples of personality types include:

  • Inspector (ISTJ): The inspector personality type are people that tend to be more serious, and appreciate dedication and hard work.
  • Giver (ENFJ): These are people who are driven by human connection, and tend to be extroverted.
  • Provider (ESFJ): The providers are organized people who enjoy making people happy, and prefer being in the spotlight as well.
  • Doer (ESTP): People with the doer personality type are passionate and driven.
  • Commander (ENTJ): These are the people who want to be in charge, and pride themselves on being independent.
  • Mediator (INFP): The mediators are kind souls who care about ethical issues and always want to help out.
  • Logistician (ISTJ): Fact-minded people who you can always fall back on for valid and precise information.

The overall goal of a business partnership is to be able to successfully run a company. Running a business can be challenging, but with the right business partner, you have someone to fall back on and alleviate your stress.

It is certainly worth investing the time to find the right person and using personality to determine a fit is a great tool.

The visual below from ZenBusiness offers tips on how to find a business partner based on your myers-briggs. Check it out to learn more about using your personality type to find the perfect business partner.

How to Find a Business Partner

Infographic courtesy of ZenBusiness.com  

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