How to find the perfect co-founder

Before you can start managing your small business, you need to get your project off the ground, which is easier said than done. Between obtaining capital and filing for permits, actually opening a new company is one of the more difficult undertakings you must handle in your career. What’s more, if you’re flying solo, it can be nearly impossible to successfully start a business.

That’s why many entrepreneurs look for co-founders. Having a reliable partner by your side can make a world of difference when you’re trying to forge ahead with a new venture. In most cases, it’s easier to reach your grand opening ceremony if you have a trustworthy associate than if you push forth without any assistance.

Want to know what you should look for in a co-founder? Check out the following traits that you should keep an eye out for.

The same passion
Perhaps that most important quality to find in a co-founder is passion. You need someone who is enthusiastic about your project and wants to see it come to fruition. Mark Lucas, co-founder and CEO of Sudo, believes you should find a partner who’s willing to go the extra mile for the company.

“[A co-founder] must be willing to take risks and sacrifice time, without knowing the outcome of the efforts. [You] must also be able to connect with the candidate on a professional and personal level in order to work with them day in and day out, [which is] the commitment necessary to ensure the success of your business,” Lucas told YFS Magazine.

Indeed, there’s no guarantee that your company will be successful or even its open doors. What’s important is that your co-founder share your passion for your idea and show a willingness to do whatever it takes to turn the concept into a reality. A reliable partner will support your vision and do whatever he or she can to help the business succeed.

Have a pitch
When you’re looking for a co-founder, you have to act like a sales representative for your future enterprise. Other entrepreneurs might not be willing to fully commit to new ventures even if they seem like great ideas – you have to be able prove to potential co-founders that your business will be great.

Forbes explains that a great pitch starts with talking about your passions and ideals. You should allow candidates to get know you personally and professionally so they’ll feel comfortable with the idea of doing business with you.

Never start with the hard sell. If you’re merely presenting data, a business plan and new products, you’ll likely scare off potential co-founders. Gradually ramp up your pitch from general information to specific details about your small business. This will help create a lasting connection between yourself and your prospective partner.

Eliminate your weaknesses
The ideal co-founder is someone whose strengths are your weaknesses. Maida Fortune, founder of Cureeo, told Inc. Magazine that the best entrepreneurs have partners who perform essential functions.

“Successful business owners are really good at recognizing what their own weaknesses are and building up a team around those weaknesses. And they’re also humble enough to bring on people that are better than they are,” Fortune said.

Examine your skill set to determine what your weaknesses are before searching for a co-founder. This allows you to find an associate whose expertise complements yours so the business will have well-rounded leadership. As a result, your company will be able to flourish because you can focus on using your strengths while your partner compensates for your weaknesses.

Having a co-founder is almost a necessity for small business owners. What traits do you look for in a partner?

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