What to Consider when Choosing a Business Partner in Kenya – Your choice of business partner can make or break your business. Business partnerships are just like a marriage, and just like in any relationship it starts off with hearts and roses and turn into bankruptcy and lawsuits in no time. Before you resolve to bring a partner on board, first contemplate if you really need a partner at all. When you decide that you require one, make sure that you get the best match to your own leadership style, goals, vision and skills. Here are some pointers when choosing a business partner.
Trust and Personal values
The bottom line is do you trust this individual with your personal bank account. If the answer is NO, think twice. Both of you need to agree on business ethics and even if they don’t from time to time you find a middle ground that suit both of you. Having common values and standards guide your judgements, decisions and actions. If the person is a good friend make sure that their goals, values and responsibilities are aligned to you. Do not assume just because you get along as friends that you are on the same page.
Select a person you have experience with at work. You should know if they are a team player and how they react in difficult situations. If you have no experience with a potential partner at all do a trial run for a specified period of time before finalizing the partnership.
Successful partners should possess different and complementary skill set to make their business prosperous. You and your partner’s strengths are in different area. The more distinct each partner’s range of skills, the clearer the division of their labor and power can be. For example if one partner is a creative the other partner can be the operations who bring planning and order to the business. Partnerships have unmistakable advantage when two invested people are able to perform distinct functions.
Just like a marriage, money is always one of the major problems in a business partnership. Therefore agree in the beginning how you will use the funding you raise and how the profits will distributed.
Have an Exit Strategy
People don’t generally discuss divorce when planning a wedding, but in a business partnership, both sides should be realistic about how long it might last. Start a partnership by figuring out how to wind it in the future and maybe even establish the timeframe.
To conclude Choosing the right business partner is not only critical to the future success of the company but it is important that your personal life as well. Bill Gates once said “our success has really been based on partnerships form the very beginning.” In the end partnerships are important for any successful venture wither small or big, choosing the right business partner can make a world difference, so you have to do all you can to increase your chances of making a successful choice.
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