Running a business is going to be stressful regardless of how successful it becomes. Adding a partner to your business can really help with growth for a small business. The partner could come with a variety of contacts that could be leveraged. The partner should not have the same strengths as you as you want to be as versatile of a company as possible. If you thrive at sales, you want someone that will help tighten up processes or handle digital marketing. Selecting the wrong partner can be catastrophic for a business owner especially if they gave up a percentage of the business to bring the partner on.
Do a Thorough Background Check
Business partners need to have a thorough background check done before you even enter into conversations with them. You do not want to give out company secrets during this process. A person could have been arrested in the past for defrauding customers or another business. If you do background checks for employees, you need to do one for your partner. The partner will have a much larger impact on the business overall than a single employee. The last thing you want is to get charged with a federal crime like tax evasion due to the wrongdoings of a partner. A federal lawyer will be the only saving grace as federal cases take a much different path than state cases.
Get The Partner to Sign an NDA and Non-Compete Agreement
There are going to be those partners that get involved with the business for the wrong reasons. This could be to make quite a bit of money while not contributing anything to the business as a whole. So many partnerships go awry that you need to get the partner to sign an NDA and non-compete agreement. The NDA will help protect current clients and what is going on at the business. The non-compete agreement will prohibit the partner for a period of time from competing in the same niche. The last thing you want is your processes/technology to be stolen only to have another company established at a fraction of the startup costs.
Experience is going to be essential when you are picking a business partner. A person that has worked in an industry for decades will have a plethora of contacts. These could be former clients or coworkers that they have built incredible rapport with. Reaching out to others in the industry that know your potential partner is important. You could find out that they skip from company to company each year leaving them in disarray. Experience matters so asking them for their huge accomplishments during their professional career is important. These achievements could be receiving a top promotion or running a sales campaign that thrived.
Business partners can be a huge help for a founder that is constantly stretched too thin. Do not settle on a business partner that you are unsure of simply because you need the help. You want to make sure the business partner you select is for the good of the company moving forward.