What To Look For In A Business Partner
by Jo Shaer, on August 7, 2012
The lovely people at Clear Books asked their users for their views on what they look for in a potential business partner.
Personally I think that, whilst it's important to have the same goals and work ethic, it's also a good idea to have different skill sets. A partner is not about having someone work with you on projects but allowing the business to expand into other complementary areas or to be able to offer a better version of your service with some more "i"s dotted ant "t"s crossed.
The Guy I Work With
I am really lucky in that my business partner is also my real life partner. When I first got into online marketing and SEO, we used the skills to help promote his martial arts classes in Birmingham. Sure enough, Epic Martial Arts Academy started to appear on the front page for a variety of terms.
It was not long before Jon began to enjoy using his knowledge of spreadsheets and data analysis - acquired during the course of his PhD - to find the best keywords to work with for my burgeoning list of clients.
Now anyone who knows me will be well aware that I hate spreadsheets - hence my fervent support of Clear Books because they made sense of my accounts without me having to input data into columns and boxes that never performed the same function the same way twice.
Curiously, he was also really good at reading the instructions for the software that we use. I like buying tools that will help to make my life easier but I had ended up with an awful lot of techie stuff that I couldn't work. My catchphrase was "I think I've got one of those but I have no idea how to use it!"
So with Jon at my back with Epic SEO sorting out the data analysis and making the software work properly, I was free to do the networking and produce the content upon which the best online marketing relies - areas in which I am far more comfortable.
Together we make a good team.
The trials of trying to bring in someone else
I met someone who I thought would really add to our mix but, despite the fact that I had customers and work ready and waiting, this person was unable to produce the goods. All that was required was to live up to the promises to get the cash... but it turned out that stealing my knowledge to set up a business with someone else was actually the game plan.
Fortunately I found out in time but it was a very upsetting time to have my trust so well and truly squandered.
However, the experienced helped me to clarify what it was that I didn't want and to identify those qualities against which to measure any potential business partner.
The required qualities of a partner
I want DEPTH
Desire to learn as much as possible about their area of expertise and to help our business to grow
Enthusiasm for the work, Empathy for co workers, Endurance for the long term goal
Passion for a successful outcome for both client and business
Tolerance for the fact that sometimes things go wrong or people make mistakes
Honesty in our relationship. Scratching each other's backs for our successful future.
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