PAIRING BODIES: Entrepreneur Philippe Mundi spoke about what qualities to look for in a business partner
I opened the company alone, with a friend with whom we no longer communicate, with my future wife, brother and strangers, who later became close friends to me.
Let the heading of my note not mislead you – in fact, the ideal business partner does not exist. But you can find someone close to ideal if you choose carefully. The co-founder’s choice is similar to marriage (in my case, the partnership just ended) – if you do not fit each other, then parting is inevitable.
The relationship between the co-founders evokes a lot of emotions and is often tested for strength as the business grows. But they are worth it. I opened my first business alone – and you know what? I felt very lonely. I experienced all difficulties alone and I had no one to share the joy of victory with. So I firmly believe in the strength of the founding team.
What kind of person do you need to look for?
He must have skills that you do not have. Diversity is a key quality of the most productive teams, so your team should resemble a Swiss knife. Look for people who will complement your abilities and open new perspectives for you.
He should not be afraid of contradictions. Founders are not required to always agree with each other. In our company, contradictions arise constantly and they only make us stronger. No need to open a business with someone who is trying to crush your ideas or allows you to suppress your own. Respect the contradictions and the role they play in your relationship.
He must be persistent. Together you have to go through many difficulties. Conflicts and frustrations will test your strength and team. Ask yourself honestly if your co-founder can withstand possible troubles. The best partners are usually the most persistent.
How to strengthen the relationship between the co-founders?
When I worked for Goodlord, I made a mistake. I thought that since we had a strong relationship with the co-founder, they will remain so until the end. This led to the fact that over time we ceased to trust each other. Now I understand that everything could be different, and since then I have been trying to actively maintain relations with my business partner, even if it seems that everything is fine now.
Here are three tips on how to prevent a breakdown in relationships.
Do not rely on assumptions alone. Together with business, your relationship is changing and developing. Be sure to set aside time to talk with each other, even if you do not have serious topics for discussion. Constantly discuss your roles and voice the slightest concern.
Appreciate each other. One popular IQ study found that 94% of people think their intelligence level is above average. Evaluate the contribution of your partner as objectively as possible and do not forget that the success of a business depends on your joint efforts.
Invite people you trust to join the conversation. Co-founders are closely related to each other. They start close relationships and achieve a lot. However, such a strong connection can distort your perception of objective reality. Therefore, sometimes it is worth inviting a trusted investor or consultant to joint discussions – a view from the outside can shed light on the important points of your relationship, which are worth finalizing.
Where to start the search?
You will say that all this is great, but ask me where to find the mythical ideal business partner?
New projects always attract people. In my experience, the most reliable way to find a co-founder is to engage in attracting investments and believe in chance. Take care of the problem you want to solve and discuss it with everyone who wants to listen to you. You yourself will understand that you have found a like-minded person. Even if the person with whom you are talking does not suit you, perhaps he knows someone who can become for you that ideal business partner. The rest is up to you.