If your business is doing well, you are likely feeling satisfied and proud of yourself. You may also be exhausted. Perhaps the time is right to expand your business, but you don't have the finances or ability to do it on your own. Now may be the time to consider taking on a partner.
A partner can change the entire dynamic of your business, for better or worse, so choosing the right person is crucial. You certainly want your partner to have the capital to help you achieve your goals, but just because someone offers you money doesn't mean that person has the best interests of your company at heart. There are other qualities a partner should have that are just as important as money to your business.
What are you looking for?
Taking on a partner may be a difficult choice. It is certainly a risk, and you will want to be deliberate in making your decision. When weighing a candidate for partnership, probably the first place to look is at the person's past business experiences. Business experience often means someone has developed skills that could be useful to your business, for example:
- The ability to assess and manage risks
- The ability to make sound, creative decisions based on the factors in each situation
- A tolerance for risk without being careless with company funds
- A wide-reaching network of connections
- A willingness to pull one's own weight and make sacrifices for the good of the company
Some entrepreneurs begin by discussing their visions with a few chosen people and narrowing the choices based on how closely their ideas match. If you find someone who has passion for the work you are already doing, you may have found the ideal candidate for a partner. You would certainly not want to jeopardize your business by making a hasty decision and ending up with a partner whose plan for the future is not compatible with yours.
Honesty and integrity
It may go without saying that you want a partner you can trust. You may be sharing trade secrets or confidential client information, and your partner must be above reproach. Unfortunately, this is a quality that is not always obvious on the surface, and many Arizona business owners protect themselves with a partnership agreement.
When you have found the best candidate to become your partner, you will want to clarify your separate roles in the company, establish a system for profit distribution and create safeguards to protect your intellectual property. Seeking legal counsel may help you determine the best ways to accomplish these goals with your new partner.