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How to pick an ideal business partner

As you start a new business, you decide you do not want to start it alone. You need a business partner who can bring some additional qualities to the company. For instance, perhaps you have a great idea for a new product and you know how to design it, but you do not know anything about the manufacturing process. Or, perhaps you do not have the business connections that you know can make your company thrive.

Regardless of your reason for looking for a business partner, it is very important to find the right person. This partnership can make or break the company. Here are a few things you should consider as you look for the ideal fit:

1. Matching goals

You and your new business partner must be on the same page regarding the overall goals and vision for the company. If you are looking to start a small, local company and your partner is hoping to sell internationally, that can lead to conflicts as you make decisions for the future of the business.

2. A stable personal life

Remember, drama and issues from someone's personal life can bleed into and impact your company. You need someone who is stable, dependable and someone you can count on. You want the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your business partner is able to devote the time and attention to the company that it deserves.

3. A desire for balance

You and your partner should have balance in your own relationship. Talk about your roles within the company in advance. Make sure that it is very clear where everyone stands. You need to work together to help the company thrive.

4. A person you can trust

Trust is critical in every relationship, from friendship to marriage to a business partnership. You have to be able to trust each other 100 percent. If you ever doubt it, ask yourself if that is a big enough red flag to look for a new partner. When trust breaks down, it leads to all sorts of complications.

5. New strengths

You may naturally find yourself drawn to people who are like you, but that can become problematic when you work together. If you have the same strengths, you do not add as much to the company. Ideally, you and your partner will possess varied strengths so that the company as a whole is stronger.

6. Monetary assets

You and your partner have to talk about money. How much will you invest? How much will you earn? What type of process do you have to follow to sell the company? What other assets do you bring to the table? It may be wise to get most of this in writing.

After you find a great business partner, make sure you know what legal steps to take to start your business from the ground up.

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Dunlap & Seeger, P.A.
30 3rd Street SE
Rochester, MN 55904

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