If you want to set up a business but are concerned about doing it alone, the obvious solution is to start up with someone else – a business partner. However, the start-up world is littered with broken relationships that have resulted in failed businesses.

So, how do you go about picking the person that’s right for you? Here, Rapid Formations share the 6 qualities that the ideal business partner should possess.

1. Likability

Let’s start at the obvious place. It’s imperative that you enjoy the company of your potential partner. You will, after all, be spending a great deal of time with this person.

Like a marriage, throughout your time together you are going to experience highs and lows. When you do hit the tricky periods, it’s good to have a strong bond in place to help you ride these out. Otherwise, you’ll inevitably turn on each other, lay out the blame, and probably end up calling it quits.

What’s more, like you, this person is going to be a representative of your company. If they’re an unlikable character, your chances of forging fruitful relationships with clients and other businesses will be compromised.

2. Honesty (that’s sometimes brutal)

As you strive to build a successful business, a partner who disagrees with you will be of more value than one who goes along with everything you say.

Working with someone who is comfortable expressing their honest opinion will enable you to see things from a different viewpoint. Then, by being receptive to their opinion, you can improve all elements of your business, from products and services, marketing strategies, recruitment processes, and so on.

You won’t always like what you hear, but taking it on board will always be for the betterment of your business… provided you’re able to come to an agreement.

3. Strong work ethic

Your partner must be able to match your dedication to the business. Anything less will lead to resentment.

Appreciate that there may be an ebb and flow. Times when you’re working flat out and they’re operating at a slower pace and then vice versa. However, in the long run, it’s not a true partnership if one of you is constantly putting more hours in.

One of the main benefits of running a business with someone else is sharing workload and pressure. If you even suspect that someone has a questionable work ethic, we strongly recommend that you think twice before going into business with them.

4. Complimentary skillset

Whilst this isn’t essential, it’s certainly helpful to your business if your partner’s area(s) of expertise differs somewhat from your own.

This can be particularly useful in the initial stages of your business – when you probably don’t have a team in place – allowing you to forge ahead and focus on specific areas, essentially ticking off more tasks.

For example, one of you may be more suited to jobs that require experience in finance and accounting, while the other is better suited to pitching and selling.

5. Perseverance

Running a business is tough. Sharing the burden with someone else can be remarkably beneficial but only if said person can handle the pressure that goes hand in hand with owning a business.

When you are experiencing difficulties it’s important that you and your partner can lift each other. All businesses go through hard times – optimism and perseverance are often what make the difference between failure and success.

6. Trustworthy

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you must be able to trust your business partner. If you have any doubt whatsoever about the integrity of the person you’re going to be working with, cease conversations immediately.

As a business partner, you are vulnerable. The actions of another person can greatly impact you, reputationally and financially. Do not risk working with someone whose character you doubt.

Thanks for reading!

So, there you have it, 6 qualities to look for when choosing the perfect business partner. And remember, these are all characteristics that you need to be able to demonstrate too!

Looking to start a business? Rapid Formations are the UK’s premier company formation agent. All you need to do is choose your company name, pick your package (prices start from £12.99), make payment, and then complete the simple company formation form. Your company will then be registered at Companies House in a matter of hours.

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