5 Things to Look for in Your Next Business Partner

One of my favorite things to do is partner with others on interesting projects and ventures. A few years ago, Tom Drake, from Canadian Finance Blog, suggested we work together, and now we partner on a few different websites, and we work on a podcast (Money Mastermind Show) together.

Deciding who you want as a business partner can be a big deal. After all, your business partner will be someone you work with closely, and it can make or break you. Here are five things to look for as you choose your next business partner:

1. Trust

One of the most important things to consider is whether or not your potential business partner is trustworthy. You might have to share some personal financial information with this person. You also have to trust that s/he will be honest about the work involved, and share information about your joint finances.

I trust Tom, and he trusts me. It’s been a good arrangement so far, and I hope it continues.

2. Work Ethic

Tom and I both have a good work ethic. We also both know that sometimes life gets in the way. I had a divorce and a cross-country move to deal with a few months ago. While I’m mostly to a new normal, I still have things to overcome. Soon, Tom will have his own challenges to address However, we both work hard to make our partnership succeed. That’s key.

3. Different Strengths

One of the best things you can do is look for a business partner that has different strengths than you. I’m a freelancer. I don’t really care for running the back ends of sites. I’d rather write. Tom takes care of the backend stuff. He is great at managing monetization and tweaking SEO for traffic. As a result, we bring different things to the table, which helps us work well together. His strengths complement my weaknesses.

4. Supportive

Tom is very supportive. When I’m struggling, I can ping him on Skype and he’s great to provide encouragement. Since I don’t have a “real” job, I can sometimes feel alone and unconnected. Tom helps me feel connected, and keeps me grounded. When you’re looking for a business partner, you need to find someone who can be supportive and help you stay motivated. Of course, the flip side is that you also need to be supportive and help others feel motivated. Make sure that you provide that same support you want from others.

5. Compatible Personalities

You should also look for a business partner you can work with. You should have compatible personalities. Tom is more extroverted than I am. This means that I spend a lot of my time at conferences attaching myself to his coattails and meeting people through him. But beyond that, we work well together most of the time, and think similarly on many topics, while being able to disagree amicably on other topics. You don’t always want to be rubbing each other the wrong way, so try some small projects together before committing to do something bigger.