The challenging task of choosing the right co-founder for a start-up, is one of the biggest entrepreneurs face. The reason is simple: Finding someone to share your vision, finances, and your business’ future is like finding a spouse. Only a little harder.
With a great business idea, you require a co-founder’s skill set to make that idea come to life. You may get lucky sometimes, but to successfully vet a co-founder, here are things to look out for:
1. Someone with an opposite skill set
Before you even start looking for your better half, of course, we mean in business, we suggest that you first understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Then secondly, consider getting a Co-Founder with a different skill set than yours. For example, if he/she understands accounting so well, and even done a whole lot of it, but you’re terrible at it, you may need a co-founder who is good with numbers for your accounting firm.
You may be one of those to take risks – venturing into areas they’ve got zero expertise for. But to succeed, you’d ultimately need to rely on someone for the technical know-how. You’d still be able to discuss the overall direction of the company, but still respect each other’s strengths enough to defer when necessary.
2. Someone who is as motivated as you are
If you’re the idea generator , chances are, you’ve got more stake in the business, financially speaking. When searching for a co-founder, you will be better off with someone who is as motivated as you are. Not desperate, but very, very hungry for success.
Why does this matter? Simple: Since you both will be owning the business, it makes sense to have an equal level of motivation to continue to enhance your business for success.
3. Someone with a personality that complements yours
Starting a business with someone is a lot like finding a spouse and the vetting process is sort of like dating. In fact, you’re likely be spending more time with your business partner than with your life partner (if you have one). So, getting to really knowing each other to make sure that it’s a good fit is very crucial.
You’ll see a lot of good behaviour, but be ready for the flaws too. Then, decide if the flaws are ones you can live with. Ideally, you will work on a project with a potential co-founder, and get a good idea of if you can work with the person for the next several years.
One final tip: Don’t be afraid to be resourceful with where you look. You never know—maybe you’ll find your co-founder in a colleague!
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