The formation of business partnerships can sometimes happen organically and spontaneously, but it is often a deliberate decision-making process involving a lot of careful consideration. Unfortunately, some individuals fail to recognize the crucial characteristics of sound, successful partners, or they enter the process of finding partners without understanding what it takes to pick the right persons for the business. With that in mind, below is a guide to three things you should be looking for in business partners:
Someone with a stable history in both career and personal endeavors
Some of history's most successful entrepreneurs have included men and women who possessed eccentric personality traits. However, these success stories are usually the exception and not the rule, and more often than not, unstable partners lead to business failures. As a result, if you are searching for a business partner who will be a positive for your enterprise, then you should look for someone who is stable in their work and personal lives. Avoid choosing people who have been erratic with career decisions or who have demonstrated difficulty in getting along with others. Stable partners may be "boring," but they will provide you with the best chance at success for the long term.
Someone who understands and is committed to the partnership structure
Partnerships are a unique animal in the world of business organizational structures. They share more in common with sole proprietorships when compared to corporations, but each member of the partnership is reliant upon one another, too. If you seek a business partner that fails to see a partnership as it stands from a legal perspective, then you are risking your own personal stake as well as the investment of others. Partnerships require a special determination to stick together and a willingness to share in both the risk and reward of business.
Someone that is able to separate business from friendship
An old adage is that you should never go in business with friends, and while there are few ironclad rules to forming partnerships, this one is sound advice. Due to the nature of partnerships, it is difficult to separate business from friendships if joint ventures are formed among preexisting friends. Such difficulties can lead to stress on a financial and personal scale, and that is why it is better to keep business partnerships exclusive. It's natural for business partners to gain a special respect for one another and form tight bonds; this is to be expected, and if kept at the business level, can result in a highly successful enterprise. However, it is also true that personal tensions can destroy partnerships, and this is why you should start with a firm foundation where business and personal relationships are decidedly separate.
For help finding business partner entrepreneurs in your area, work with a local company that offers these services.