Business partnerships can often bring together individuals whose skills and experience combined can be just what the company needs to succeed. And in some cases, finding a business partner can be one of the best ways to get valuable resources, including additional money to help fund the business.
But sometimes, business partnerships can also result in a lot of hassle and headache. If you’re considering finding a business partner, it’s important to vet any potential people that you have in mind in order to make sure that your business is in with the best chance of success and avoid any future headaches.
Do Your Own Research
Spend some time researching your prospective business partner online. Take a look at their social media accounts; do their Facebook posts or tweets come across as being from the type of person you’d want to be working with? Would you be happy to say that you are professionally associated with them? Go back a while into their timeline; there could be some older information that they’ve forgotten is still up that could provide you with valuable insight into their character and their way of thinking. Search them on Google; what comes up? You might even want to go a little further and use a service like Public Records Reviews to find federal records to see if they have any past convictions that they haven’t told you about or any money issues with past businesses. Public Records Reviews allows you to look up public information held on anybody by searching their name; more information here: https://www.publicrecordsreviews.com/federal-records.
Listen to Your Gut Feeling
For many people, getting into a business deal can be a very exciting time, but don’t ignore any nagging thoughts or feelings that that something isn’t quite right. Experts suggest meeting up with your prospective partner for lunch or a coffee and treating it as a quiet interview. Take notice of how they treat the waiting staff and any other people that you might encounter while you are together; this could be a telltale sign of how they might treat you and your business’s employees in the future.
A business partnership can be a little bit like a marriage, and just like you wouldn’t get married to somebody without first asking them some very searching questions about themselves and getting to know them better, a prospective business partner should be approached in much the same way. Avoiding difficult conversations might be the easier option to take, but it can have serious long-term consequences for you and your business. Be sure to find out exactly what they want from the partnership and any plans that they have for the business in the future to make sure that they are aligned with your own. The last thing that you want is for months or even years down the line to end up discovering that everything they want is the complete opposite to you, or that the two of you disagree on a major issue.
You can run a credit check on any business, so if your potential future business partner is already a business owner, consider running a commercial credit check on their current company. However, when it comes to personal credit scores, while there are dozens of services where you can check your own credit for free, it’s difficult to check somebody else’s personal credit and you’ll need to get your future business partner’s permission before you do this if you decide to take this route. If your business does not already run credit checks on job applicants, the most likely option will be asking your future business partner to obtain their credit report and share it with you.
Are You Compatible?
Even if your potential business partner seems like an ideal fit on paper and there’s nothing wrong with any of the research you’ve done on them so far, that doesn’t mean that the two of you are going to work well together. Varying work styles and personalities can quickly cause the relationship to fall apart and that can seriously impact the business. It might be a wise idea to invite your potential business partner to come and work with you for a while before giving them the partnership position so that you can have a ‘trial run’ to see how well the two of you work together and if they are a good fit for your business. On the other hand, this can also be an ideal arrangement for them, since they get to work closely with your business and get a feel for what it would be like if they accepted the partnership offer. Finding a business partner can be a very exciting time, but it’s important to find the right person to work alongside you.