You’re thinking of starting a business.
But before that, a big question needs to be answered. Should you find a co-founder?
Finding a co-founder is no easy task, and it usually involves a lot of planning, interviews, and a few rotten apples as you go along. However, when it works, some of the most legendary companies have been born!
- Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded HP, and their partnership has taken the company to become one of the largest PC manufacturers globally.
- Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in 1975
- In 1976, Apple Inc was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
Here are 3 essential for partnership to be successful.
But if you’re considering a business partnership, you need to start in a place with a strong foundation.
Here are a few questions one needs to ask before starting to figure out – while you’re on the journey for a like-minded business partner.
1. What Gaps can this Person Fill?
What’s a trademark of the best business co-founder ever?
For Apple’s Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs — it was all about harmony and partnership balance. While Steve Wozniak focused on developing and manufacturing innovative Apple machines, Steve Jobs was the person in charge of sales and marketing.
Through this balance of duties and strengths, Apple became a brand that was truly a combination of good marketing and design, not just one without the other.
When you’re searching for a co-founder or business partner, ask yourself what weaknesses you have in the first place.
Do you lack in terms of product design? Maybe you’re focused more on branding, but with no coding/development/engineering experience?
Start looking for a co-founder who does what you can’t.
It may be tempting to partner up with someone who shares common ground and interests. However, you always want to build a well-rounded business and cover all ground, and that requires getting the expertise of someone from different backgrounds!
2. Do they have access to Big Networks?
A truly exceptional founder is one that opens doors for your business.
Therefore, it’s good to look for one that has been in the industry before! It means that they will have existing connections, and they might already be a part of a startup network.
Of course, this won’t be easy to find. This partner has to feel strongly about your business model, product, or service to come on board. A good place to start finding them, though, would be in the industries that you already plan on penetrating.
Are you looking to start a fashion eCommerce brand? A director in retail could be your next option to explore. Even if this person has no past co-founder experience, they would be the perfect way to get a foot in the door with your industry.
3. How well can you communicate with them?
Founders everywhere will tell you that communication is one of the most important parts of a relationship.
At the very start, you should make sure that your end goals with your founder are aligned. It goes beyond just the monetary targets you want to achieve or status.
Ask your partners whether or not they are in this for the long-run. Are they starting a business while in-between jobs? Do they want to sell the startup to a bigger company eventually? What is the end goal of becoming a co-founder?
Some of these questions might be personal, but it’s necessary to ask. These questions guarantee that the future of your business, partnership, and long-term strategy are all set in stone before jumping into something together.
Throughout this process, it’s also necessary to understand the values you share with your co-founder.
Although having a person with a different skill set could come in handy for balance, one thing you never want is to have a co-founder that cannot communicate adequately.
Assess whether or not your co-founder can handle pressure under strict deadlines. Whether or not they possess good leadership skills and the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
Soft skills are just as imperative as having market or industry skills — so you don’t want to put that aside!
Where can you find good co-founders?
Ever wondered how to find good co-founders online? You’re in luck! Here are some online platforms to check out:
- CoFoundersLab: CoFoundersLab is one of the most known online networks to find like-minded people. Here, you can segment people according to their industry and what they’re looking for — to get the match you want.
- Founder2be: If you’re looking for designers, marketers, and engineers mostly, you’ll find a whole bunch of them on Founder2be.
- Founderslist: Founderslist wasn’t just built to find co-founders. You can meet people online here to discuss ideas, submit questions, and more.
- FoundersNation is much like CoFoundersLab, where you can quickly see what other users are looking for and what value add they can make.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is another place to meet people from varied backgrounds. Unlike other co-founder platforms, it will also come in handy when you’re building a small team. There are over 660 million professionals on LinkedIn in 2020, so you’ll never fall short of talent.
And there you have it. The full list of requirements for a good-founder, as well as the platforms to find them.
It’s always important to set some guidelines when you’re figuring out how to find a co-founder. Asking the pertinent questions and assessing the situation before finding a partner is essential to avoid future disappointment.