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Business Partner

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The SmallBusiness.com WIKI Guide to Business Partner is a collaborative project created by users of the SmallBusiness.com WIKI. It provides an overview of basics related to this topic. Find more guides at The SmallBusiness.com WIKI Guides Hub.

7 Questions You Should Ask to Your Future Business Partner!

Business partnership, these days, is nothing less than a marriage which demands equal attention and dedication. The huge similarity between the two is that both begin at high levels of enthusiasm and expectations but we are not here talking about marriage. We are rather talking about business partnerships, what it takes to make them successful and keep running by also allowing them to fetch desirable benefits in the process. It becomes extremely important to know everything possible about the potential partners, which should also include whereabouts of their financial status and what they can ultimately bring to your business. Make sure that you have everything lined up in place before you get down to signing on that dotted line with a business partner in future.

Not everything is perfectly gloomy about working with business partners but remember, nothing is perfectly alright with it too! Before you can finally decide on partnering with someone, here are top 7 questions that you must positively ask before stepping into the deal and giving it a final call.

What Are Your Expectations From Your Future Business Partner?

It is always advisable to look for a worthy business partner who can bring something ‘good’ to your business and can contribute to it in a different way. A detail-oriented business partner is suitable for someone who is more creative at work and believes in spilling the beans of creativity at each stage. No matter how much money you are ready to invest in your business, it may all go in vain if your business partner fails to have access to the market. People who are willing to step into business but are shy as a person may require a business partner who is willing to place demands before people without any kind of hesitation.

If your business partner is similar to you, it may look like two people in sync with each other and going really comfortable but they may not often be the best ones to complement each other when required. Make sure that you start working with a business partner who rather complements well with your nature, personality and skills rather than sounding similar to you.

What is the financial status of your future business partner?

Financial status and the commitments of your business partner should be known to you because these are two factors that are likely going to affect your business in the long run. Before you get into a venture with them, make sure that you have an idea on their financial commitments and their priorities relating with the same. This is likely to impact their financial decisions in the long run which are definitely going to have a huge impact on the running of your business too.

How much time should you expect your business partner to put into the venture?

It is important to ask how much time your business partners can really put into your business venture. Does it meet your expectations and requirements? Ask them about their priorities and whether they have any kind of time constraints. If they seem to under-promise and over- deliver then you can expect yourself to get into trouble soon!

Is their commitment to your business strong as yours?

It is extremely important for the commitment of your business partner to equal yours. Whether you are a small business or a huge entity, if the passion and commitment of your business partner does not match yours, you may very well expect your business to be in dust sometime soon. The real trouble may begin when you start off with a business partner who has been your friend since a long time and then the daily slog begins to take over. It’s that time when reality begins to hit.

Think strictly about your business and grab a partner who can bring reasonable logics and benefits to your venture. When you have business partners that are not as committed as you, they may end up losing their enthusiasm and may even start feeling frustrated about the entire thing. Don’t let your partnership with someone less worthy damage your brand.

How do they handle tough situations in life/business?

Ups and downs in business are common hence it becomes important to first know how your future business partner can handle tough situations in life and in business ventures. You can always find things out from their past experiences and even the employers they have worked with, in the past. How far did the tough situations in business alter their character? What was the impact their personality had on the business and how did they recover from a bad phase? Know about their past actions and you are sure to make a decision that would go in sync with a favourable scenario for your business.

Do they have any questions regarding you or your business?

They must have! If they don’t have anything to ask, they are probably less interested about the deal or have taken up things minus enthusiasm. Perceived lack of interest is something that should be tracked at the earliest. If they are really interested and enthusiastic about the entire plan, they should have questions regarding your business venture, character and even reliability of your business. When they ask you questions before entering into a partnership with you, they are likely going to give you a reflection of their personality and even their expectations and what actually their partnership can bring to the business.

Can your future business partner put everything into writing?

Make sure that your business partnership is not just cemented with a handshake. By putting it out in writing, you are actually ensuring that most of the troubles that may crop up in future may seem to be control if so required. When you put it in writing, you let it explore the potential issues that may spoil the entire pace of your business growth and progress. Face the harsh reality – what if they tune out or disappear from their role? Have everything fixed not just verbally but rather legally. Have all the terms and conditions in written so that they can be dictated and be reminded about, should anyone of you feel the requirement to do so.

Also ensure that you are completely aware of your potential business partner’s standing in the community. Find out more on their family issues so that you know whether they can be relieved on the personal front and give their best to your business venture. You will need to ensure that nothing can actually make business their secondary interest. This doesn’t mean they should not have any family responsibilities but they should rather be able to balance both their personal and professional life with complete interest, dedication and success. You must also realise that you know whether you really need a partner so that you don’t end up getting a partner you feel your business would have done even without!

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