When you start a business, one of the first questions you ask yourself is if you should be doing this alone or if you need help. This decision determines whether your company is a solopreneurship or a partnership. Some entrepreneurs work better by themselves, but others realize the benefit of having a partner.
In some operations, it’s beneficial to have someone you can rely on to share the burden. In the most fortunate cases, you and your partners complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, ensuring a better success rate for your business. In other cases, a partner could muddy decision making or over-complicate a simple business. To help business leaders who are still on the fence, eight experts from Young Entrepreneur Council examine the important factors to explore when deciding whether to take on a business partner.
1. The Value They Provide
Can that co-founder provide ten times more value than an employee could? Hedging your bets on yourself has to be worth it to take on the risk of a second person. If they have the experience and drive to build the business much faster than you can, it is totally worth it, as long as you are good with trading ownership for capital. – James Guldan, Vision Tech Team
2. How Much You’re Willing To Compromise
You have to think about how much you’re willing to compromise. Working with a partner means you’re going to have to make some tough compromises so everyone is happy. This decision could limit some of your freedom. At the same time, a partner can help you by acting as a second pair of eyes to help you identify problems, make connections and grow your brand. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC
3. Where You Need Support
What are my weaknesses? Where do I need support and what can I simply not do on my own? These are the questions to ask oneself before making a decision. The answer to whether you need to find a partner will be determined by how big the gaps are. If they are too big or varied, finding a partner may help. If they can be filled by services, that might lead to long-term savings and more equity for the founder. – Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.
4. How Much They Complement You
One factor I think someone should consider when deciding between solopreneurship and finding a co-founder is asking themselves how much a partner complements them. We’re all unique, we think a certain way and do things our own way. It could be very helpful to find a partner that will challenge my ideas (in a constructive manner), add value to them and complement the way I do things. – Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME
5. Alignment Of Vision
Having a co-founder can be effective if you both bring different strengths to the table, or if your vision is 100% aligned. If you don’t have a very clear reason for bringing on a co-founder, don’t. Hire employees (or perhaps better, depending on your startup, consultants or contractors) instead to fill gaps in your skill set. – Brittany Hodak, Keynote Speaker
6. Your Long-Term Goals
Your long-term goals play an important role in whether you go it alone or find a partner to work with. Do you plan to start a new business further down the line? Will you sell your business in the future? Questions like these make it clear whether you should work with a partner or not. You can share responsibility or make decisions on your own. Your future plans will help you know what to do. – Blair Williams, MemberPress
7. If You Can Trust Them With Your Life
Trust is the most important factor. If there isn’t someone you could find that you would trust with your life, that is when you should consider working as a solopreneur. Another important factor to consider would be financial responsibility. This would also fall into the trust category. If you couldn’t trust them from the beginning, you definitely shouldn’t risk trusting them with your finances. – John Hall, Calendar
8. Their Expertise Versus Yours
Find someone complementary. You could be the idea person, but need to find someone to run the day-to-day business chores. You may be about sales but not about balance sheets. Find a numberphile. A company with co-founders who are very good at two complementary skills will have a higher chance of succeeding when compared to a company that has two experts in one field. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS