There are many solid reasons for entering into a new entrepreneurial venture with the right business partner. Finding that right partner can be a challenge because you want someone who fills in needed skills and knowledge gaps but who can also think independently. The best co-entrepreneurs are able to look at problems from different angles and offer input from their own perspectives. In this article, founder and chief executive officer of Ferrari Energy, Adam Ferrari looks at the best ways of finding a complementary business partner.
Look for a Partner You Truly Like Spending Time with and Shares Your Values
When you work with someone who you genuinely enjoy spending time with, you are on the path to a trusting relationship. Trust is also much easier to develop with someone who shares your fundamental values. Developing trust with others is always a building process, so look to work with someone you believe you will be able to build strong trust with over time. Your personal values direct your interests and decision and sharing those interests with your partner will make it more likely that you will see eye to eye on important decisions in your business. Attitudes towards ambition, work ethic, politics, and family values all have a direct impact on how company decisions are approached.
Emphasize the Search for a Complementary Skill Set
You should have a strong feeling about your self-assessment of your own skills and abilities. When you understand your personal strengths and weaknesses, you will be better suited to find a business partner that will not only support your strength but who will also fill in the gaps in areas where you are not as strong. If you are a wizard with the technical skills required by your industry but know very little about marketing and entrepreneurship, it should be fairly obvious what type of person you should be looking for. Consider three major areas that you and your partner should be able to effectively attack through teamwork: technical skills, entrepreneurship, and day to day management.
Find a Partner with a Similar Exit Plan for Your Project As Yours
You and your partner should be on the same page with regard to the overall plans and goals for your business venture. If your plan is to build a company that you can leave to your children, but your partner envisions building a business that can be sold for a nice profit in five years, your fundamental difference in exit strategies is sure to lead to conflict. You can never predict the future with any certainty, of course, but you should try to find a partner with an exit strategy vision similar to your own.
Vet Your Partner’s Financial Stability and Expect to Do the Same
A partnership is commonly referred to as a “business marriage.” In order to be successful, both parties must have a full and honest impression of the other’s financial condition and ability to commit to the business in the event that plans and conditions regarding finances change over time. Do not be shy about sharing credit reports with each other and having a frank discussion about personal financial commitments to the success of the business.
About Adam Ferrari
Adam Ferrari is the founder of the Denver-based mineral acquisitions company Ferrari Energy. He is a chemical engineer by degree and is an accomplished petroleum engineer by profession. He also has experience in the financial sector through his work at an investment banking firm. Under his leadership, his company has supported numerous charitable organizations including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Freedom Service Dogs, Denver Rescue Mission, Coats for Colorado, and Next Steps of Chicago.