Finding the perfect co-founder can be a lengthy process. You need to consider a few factors to make it easier to connect with potential partners.
Choosing a co-founder is one of the most important decisions you can make in your business. You will be attached to this person for many years to come as you go through the best and worst time of your business.
Some say it is like marriage. We say it is like marriage, but you spend more time together and make tough decisions. Instead of a few children, you have dozens of employees.
Depending on your focus on entrepreneurship and work experience, you may find it difficult to find someone willing to do business with you.
If you are having trouble finding a co-founder for your company, be sure to check out StartHawk.
i). Benefits of Having a Co-founder
Co-founders can fill gaps in certain areas while adding their skills. You can also get ideas from each other, gain new perspectives, and make decisions from different perspectives.
Every startup needs three core roles:
- domain experts (people who understand audiences and can provide a company’s vision),
- suppliers (people who can build and deliver products),
- technical directors,
- Financial managers (people who will generate income and enable investment in the business).
Very few people play these three roles simultaneously. Experts suggest that you first establish which of the three you are or you can cover multiple areas. Then, find a co-founder who will take the other role to complete you.
It is worth remembering that almost all businesses today have digital elements, and technical co-founders can be a significant asset in hiring and leading technical teams.
It is important to identify our technical issues and build a functional team from the start.
If you have difficulty making a decision, list all the major steps in your startup’s future development and estimate the likelihood that each step will do the same or worse with your co-founder’s company.
ii). What Should You Look For?
If they are already familiar with starting a business, this will be a huge advantage. However, they also need to have different skills so that you can tackle some key basics. This also applies to the behavioral level.
If you are a visionary, look for someone with great operational abilities. Work together. You can be sure that your plan and progress will not diverge.
Motivation and professional values are key. Otherwise, you will lose sync, and it will affect your resilience in difficult times. Having multiple founders means that everyone must be passionate about the task they are supposed to do.
When starting a startup, the founding team faces several difficult issues. Therefore, separate them, deal with each problem one by one, and proceed to work on an amazing scale. Without trust and transparency, this is impossible between partners.
iii). Find and Choose the Right Co-founder
There are many factors to consider when starting a business, such as market demand, financing, profitable business models, and marketing. Of the startups that failed, 23 percent said that lack of a suitable team would lead to startup failure.
There are two founders on the team, not one, which greatly increases the success of a startup.
Startups will increase investments by more than 30 percent of starting capital, triple the customers’ growth rate and the scale of expansion will be fast too. Of course, two founders fully invested are double the sum of each of them.
Finding a co-founder can be difficult. However, founders can use many resources to find people with the skills they need to run a business. Below is a description of what to look for among co-founders and their search techniques.
iv). Find the Right Combination
Just as startups should combine different skills, so should be with personality traits. If the co-founder is shy, it is best to make the other person more open and confident. Every strength of the co-founders will support each other.
v). Find Someone You Can Trust
Running a business gives people many opportunities to do dishonest activities. The co-founders’ actions may cause others to question the company’s ethics or cause permanent damage to the company.
When looking for co-founders, it is important to remember and find trustworthy people who will take responsibility.
Avoid people who abuse their power to exercise control. Whether they make decisions without other team members’ consent or use manipulative methods, such people will do their best to achieve their goals.
Startups should also avoid looking for co-founders who are too focused on pleasing others. This usually causes a person not to express their concerns or avoid disagreements. This can harm the startup’s success.
vi). Define Values
Whether you are hiring employees, choosing a vendor, or a co-founder, you must use a credible and well-defined set of core values as a starting point.
Your core values define your priorities, goals, and decisions you want to make.
vii). Decide the Tradeoffs
After reaching value, we would like to define “anti-value.” For example, if transparency is essential to you, would you like to forgo privacy or security?
Or, if getting your tasks done on time is important, do you want to work late and change your personal schedule?
viii). Evaluate own Strengths and Weaknesses
The key is to realize that they are developing good strategies to capitalize on strengths and mitigate weaknesses. Successful people called this number and found out what they were good at and what they were fighting.
It can be tempting to find co-founders like you, but it is best to praise you in the right way to benefit your company’s future.
ix). Build a Partnership
One of the main tests for potential co-founders is to make sure they can take the right position and make every effort to build a partnership. This cannot be easy when looking for people with technical knowledge and skills.
These people can be knowledgeable, but it will not be easy to work in the long run if they have little emotional intelligence. Humility, willingness to accept new ideas, and willingness to cooperate in making decisions is the key to the successful creation of a partnership.
x). Ensure the Same Level of Ambition and Motivation
You do not have to agree to work 80 hours a week or do office work at 2:00 a.m. each day. You do need to make sure that both sides have a similar level of commitment. If you both have family members and want to go home at 5:30 every night, that is great. Just let it be known and agreed.
xi). Deal with Unfavorable Circumstances
Every company and partnership will go through difficult times. Difficulties in obtaining funds, insufficient cash flow, employee resignations, and customer termination contracts will impact partnerships. Make sure you and your co-founders have a coping strategy to deal with and overcome them.
Discussing these topics in advance is a huge investment in time. The best business partnerships succeed not because they have reached a high level but because they can survive.
xii). Mix and Match Resources
Entrepreneurs can meet the co-founders in person, attending social events, and engaging with like-minded people. They can also search for social media, especially LinkedIn, which allows group founders to join in to find co-founders.
Check out how to build a strong business partnership!
Tips for Finding the Perfect Co-founder
1. Write a Job Description
Writing the job description you are looking for among co-founders will help you find the skills and qualities you are searching for in potential partners.
It will also help your network provide information and let potential candidates know if they are suitable candidates for the position.
2. Network with your Business Connections
Finding potential co-founders is just about using your network. When you were looking for a partner, you may not have enough contacts.
Make sure you ask everyone you know and have worked with before to find out if they know someone interested in joining the team. You never know who you will meet, looking for a startup company, and finding this company is the perfect business.
3. Look for Interest at Local Colleges
Many professors have the knowledge and time to work on side projects such as co-founding startups. The professors also have a large network and many contacts to know someone with the appropriate skills.
4. Join “Dating” sites for Business Partners
Yes, they do exist. Just like on a dating site, you can create profiles about yourself and your business and then search for matches.
Check out other people’s profiles and find someone with the right skills and personality to become your new business partner. Be sure to look for keywords found by people who would normally be co-founders of startups, such as their previous positions.
5. Agree on Roles
Once you have found a potential co-founder, you need to make sure that both sides agree on each person’s role in building and growing your business.
Before starting your hard work, you need to make sure both sides agree.
6. Consider a Move
Unfortunately, setting up a new company may have regional problems. As you may already know, some areas of the country are usually hotbeds of startups and companies.
If you live in the middle of the country away from these networks, and if you want to find the network and potential co-founders, you might consider moving.
7. Hire a Lawyer
Once you know that both parties agree, you can prepare the documentation. Hiring a lawyer and creating legal documents to consolidate the issues discussed can help continue with final processing.
These are just some of the basic steps you need to follow to find the perfect co-founder and create the perfect startup. Check these effective business tools to manage your startup!
Finding the right co-founder is one of the most difficult steps in starting a startup. The founder should not be taken lightly. However, taking the time to build a founder and starter team will make your startup more successful.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.