What to Look For In A Good Business Partner

One of the most important questions you must ask yourself when running a business is: should you run it alone or with a partner?

Choosing what to sell, where to sell it, and how are all important questions to ask before you start working on your own business. They answer the question of how you can best serve your customers and gain profit while doing so. But there’s also one more major thing to think about: should you run the business yourself or with a partner?

Do You Need a Business Partner in the First Place?

Just because you came up with a great business idea and plan doesn’t mean you don’t need a business partner. There are plenty of reasons to work together with one or more people to get your business going. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re not quite sure:

Are there aspects of the business you're not confident with?

List down the tasks you need to do to get the business going. If there are plenty of items on it that you’re doing for the first time or not quite sure how to do, it might be worth partnering up with someone who is more experienced.

Does your business need time and effort you can’t fully commit to?

This question can really only be answered once the business has started and you can gauge the kind of workload you need to manage. But if you can have a good estimate of this and learn that you might not have the time to spare due to a full-time job or family commitments, consider getting a business partner to help you out.

Are you okay with other people taking care of your baby?

Figuratively, of course. Some people take plenty of pride in their business ideas and would not want anyone else to take responsibility or assume control over their business, at least in its early stages. If you are not these people and you don’t mind having some help, having a business partner might benefit you.

After figuring out whether or not you need a partner in for your SME business, it’s time to consider the kind of attributes that would make a good partner. When choosing one, we recommend paying special attention to these qualities:

Work Ethics

You can be a hardworking founder or a more relaxed one, but if your partner is one and you’re the other, it might not make for a harmonious business relationship. You can also be

the kind of person who prefers to have a less hands-on partner or inversely, a partner who works harder than you. In either case, make sure you know your potential partner’s work ethic well enough so you can work together well.

Complementary Skill Set

You and your partner can be responsible for the same things, but ideally, you should be good at different things that complement each other. This way, you can close any gaps of knowledge and support one another better. This goes for experience and connections as well. Having a partner with a different knowledge base and network can help the business grow much faster.

High Risk Tolerance

Starting a business is already plenty risky by itself, and while having a partner means dividing the risks somewhat, it also means trusting someone else completely. If you’re looking for a partner, make sure you’re okay with them being a liability, and make sure they in turn also have no problem with having you as a liability. Nobody likes to lose, but having the capacity to fail gracefully means losing won’t be too bad.

Same Values and Principles

Even when everyone believes in the idea and are passionate enough to see it through, it’s still also very important to know what kind of values your partner might have. Why are they doing business? Are they in it for money, do they want to serve the community, are they near retirement and just looking for something to do, etc.

Try to ensure that everyone’s motives and values regarding the business align and everybody is philosophically in lockstep. Because in case the business has to endure major changes and shakeups, all parties are more likely to still stick around due to a shared belief.

Two Heads Are Better Than One

Now that you know how to choose a good business partner and whether or not you need one, we hope you can make a more informed decision when you need to.

Ready to make that leap of faith and embark into the world of business opportunities with a partner of your choice? If your answer is yes, then here’s a bonus tip to help you get started on your new venture.

Learn more about the benefits of SME banking by giving RHB SME Banking Portal a visit and make use of their Knowledge Center to discover the useful tips and tricks to help you achieve your aspirations as a soon-to-be franchisee. From business loans to current accounts created specifically for the fundamental needs of SME business owners, begin your journey as a franchisee with RHB SME Banking Portal today.

This article was brought to you in collaboration with RHB SME Banking.

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