After coming up with an idea for a company, it is important to consider having a partner. Most startups have at least two partners; one who is good at building the product and another who is good at selling.
Going it alone isn’t a bad idea if you are good at both building and selling. However, sometimes running a business on your own can get lonely. Moreover, it can be hard to take a break from working if you’re all your business has.
For these reasons, you might want to look for a partner who brings in a complementary skillset. There are several things to consider while looking for a great co-founder.
1) A shared vision
A great co-founder has to be someone with whom you have a shared vision. When opening a business, you need to have goals and aspirations.
If you are looking for a partner, they have to share the same goals and aspirations for you to align your vision together.
2) Shared core values
Core values are usually ingrained in people as they grow up. They are born out of experiences through life. It is important to understand your co-founder’s values and principles.
If you have conflicting views on major principles, it is probably going to be tough to align your goals, systems, and working culture.
Passion is the only thing that will keep you and your co-founder going when business gets tough. When you start the company and get a co-founder who only wants to build the company because it is an avenue to wealth, the difficult days will get extremely rocky and impossible to beat. Without passion, it’s impossible to overcome obstacles or rise from failure.
The ideal co-founder should be as passionate as you are (or even more passionate than you) about the idea and problems you are solving in society through your company.
4) Shared entrepreneurial spirit
Obviously, you are an entrepreneur at heart if you have decided to come up with a startup geared towards solving a particular problem.
Entrepreneurs take costly but calculated risks. That adventurous spirit needs to be channelled into something productive. Entrepreneurs are willing to grind very hard to build a company from nothing. They are intelligent, and brilliant problem solvers.
All these traits need to exist in your co-founder. This is the spirit of entrepreneurship, and a co-founder who has this will push you to do better every time.
5) Logical & realistic
Dreams are nice. Luxuries are so attractive. For some people that is the end goal. For entrepreneurs, that as an end goal is usually good motivation.
However, don’t dream too fast. Rather, you should be logical and realize that the world we live in has many obstacles that slow you down on the way to achieving those dreams. Look at every factor in play.
Getting a co-founder who is realistic and makes rational decisions after thinking of the consequences will allow you both to spend wisely and grow gradually. Set realistic and logical goals, and stay patient until you get there.
6) Ambitious & dedicated
Ambition is very good motivation. At the very least, it is what keeps you going when you doubt your passion. However, ambition without dedication to get there is pointless.
Dedication is the only way you get something out of your passion and get closer to your ambitions. A co-founder should acknowledge that it takes dedication to grow a successful business.
It takes a lot of time, money, and effort to start a company. It is a huge investment and you don’t want to have someone you cannot trust as a partner.
When you are away from the company at any point, having a co-founder you can entrust the business to while you are away will give you peace of mind.
Having a co-founder who can carry out your tasks and responsibilities with integrity is crucial to a startup’s success.
8) Has complimentary skillset
When you have a varied skill set in your company, it benefits the startup because you don’t have to hire for every other task.
A co-founder should have the skills that you don’t have. Think of the aspects of running a business which you find challenging and get a co-founder who compensates for your shortcomings.
An understanding co-founder will be ready to listen to customers and take time to understand their concerns. They will also be patient when you have to change the focus of a certain goal. Conversations between you and the co-founder will go a lot smoother if you can both understand each other’s points of view.
10) Open to correction
There is nothing as good as a co-founder who is humble enough to accept that sometimes they are wrong and embrace suggestions for improvement.
11) Independent thinker
Sometimes as a founder you might make the wrong decision, so you need a co-founder who thinks independently. When you both discuss decisions to take, the co-founder will open your eyes to a whole new way of approaching the problem at hand.
With both your perspective and theirs, there is bound to be one that will act as a plan B in case the main course of action fails.
Additionally, when you are away from the company and a decision needs to be made, your co-founder must be able to make the best decision for the company without being influenced by external sources.
12) Team player
A co-founder should be a team player. They should motivate the team or work peacefully with the team, they are a good example to the team at every single point. They should know how to lead discussions, as well as roll up their sleeves and work with the team too.
Since over a third of employees cite being part of the reason they stay with an organization for a long time, having a co-founder who is a team player can be very valuable to you. After all, who wants to keep hiring new employees all the time? A high employee retention rate can save you money since old employees get more efficient at their jobs with time. Additionally, hiring and training new employees costs a lot of money in the long run. Team members who stay at your organization for a long time are also likely to develop a sense of loyalty to the organization, thus turning into valuable brand ambassadors.
Most partnerships fail due to miscommunication. It is important that a co-founder communicates effectively with you. When they cannot make it for a meeting they should communicate early so that you can make alternative plans. When they are going through a difficult time that’s affecting their work you should know too. As they deal with clients and the team, communication will be very critical for growth.
14) Comfortable with conflict
Disagreements are bound to happen in your partnership. Most conflicts usually end in compromise for both parties. A co-founder who is okay with conflict knows that conflict encourages growth.
If your co-founder is comfortable with conflict, then they will also be able to speak up when they feel something is not right without being disrespectful.
A co-founder who understands their strengths and weaknesses is someone who knows themselves. Talking about each other’s strengths and weaknesses fosters trust and creates a good foundation for a complementary business relationship.
16) Motivates you
Talking to your co-founder should leave you feeling motivated, not discouraged. When challenges come and try to kill your passion, motivating one another may be the only way to get through it.
Choosing the wrong co-founder could result in your team falling apart, and no entrepreneur wants that for their business. On the other hand, the right co-founder could just be the magic you need to get your business running smoothly. After all, your co-founder will not only be helping you, but they will also be helping your employees. For this reason it’s important to take your time and consider both your needs as well as the needs of the team this co-founder will be leading.
In order to make the best decision for both you and your team, you should take your time. This includes conducting as many interviews as you need to get a good feel of the candidates who are available for this position. Write a list of qualities you’re looking for beforehand and gauge each candidate according to the items on this list.
Have we left anything out? Let us know by tweeting us at @pressfarmpr.
Have you already found the perfect co-founder? The next step is launching a PR campaign which will generate positive publicity for your brand as you launch. Our team of experts at Pressfarm can help you with that. From writing press releases to crafting memorable feature stories, we can help you capture the media attention you need to propel your brand to the next level. Likewise, if you and your co-founder have news to share, we can help you to connect with the best journalists in your niche. With any of our PR packages, you can get a personalized PR campaign to help you make a splash in your industry and stand out from your competition.