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5 Tips for picking the best business partner

The success behind any business lies mainly on three things:  your product or service, its affordability and you (or the people) who run it.  Make just one of these components mediocre and your business and everything for which you’ve worked hard will go down the drain.

Therefore, once you have an excellent product or service idea, done your research on the market and have come up with a consumer-friendly price for your product or service, the next thing you need to do is to look for a business partner.  While going at it alone could be a better choice, it isn’t always the best because a partner could actually help you achieve your vision – IF you have the right one, of course.

Choosing a Business Partner

1.  Specify what you need in your business partner/s.  First of all, list down your strengths – your skills, talents and capabilities – or what you can bring to the business.  If you are thinking of putting up a graphic design and web development business for instance and you already are a good graphic artist with years of experience, there really is no point in getting another artist as your partner.  In this case, your partners (you’d probably be looking for more than one) should be someone who is an excellent marketing strategist and someone who is an excellent website programmer.  You’ll need the programmer for web development and the marketing strategist for selling your services to the market.

2.  Be strict about your business partner’s qualifications.  Remember that you want your business to become profitable – and unless your partner or partners can deliver their end of the deal, your business will never take off or will not last for very long.

It might be easier to choose your friends or relatives who know a little something about the business you want to put up or have a moderate proficiency for the tasks that your business partner will be expected to perform.  However, a partner who knows “a little something” is not someone you’d want to begin your business with.  Choose only people who can do an excellent job, whether they are your friends or not.

3.  Check his/her credentials.  When presented with a potential business partner, you should not take him/her at face value.  You should research his/her background and track record.  You need someone with loads of experience so he/she should have a portfolio bursting (or near bursting) at the seams with past work samples, references/testimonials and other proof of skill/talent/capability.

4.  Designate.  After deciding on your business partner/s, you should list down the tasks that need doing in your business.  After specifying the tasks, you should assign these tasks accordingly.  You know what you can and can’t do, and you know why you picked your partner/s; thus, task designation should be easy.  Make sure that task assignments are clearly understood by everyone involved.

5.  Make everything legal.  You should draw up a contract that lays down – in black and white – the details of the partnership.  The contract should be quite specific on what is expected of each partner (including you).  There should be sections on each partner’s obligations and responsibilities, share of capital, profit share, dispute resolution, and partnership dissolution.  Have a lawyer draw up the contract for utmost detail and protection.

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