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Looking for the right co-founder for your startup? Here are a few steps to make it easier

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Every entrepreneur has to confront a familiar obstacle- they don’t have the expertise, interest or bandwidth to do everything that is needed to build their brand on their own.

Outsourcing part of the work or hiring employees will only consume more time and money. The easy way is to look for a co-founder with compatible skills and interests.

In a budding startup, two heads are surely better than one. But finding the perfect business partner can be a demanding task. Here are a few ways for fresh and hopeful entrepreneurs to find the perfect co-founder.


Make use of your networking skills

Finding a co-founder is really important for the future success of your project; so make sure you put much importance on networking.  Use your skills as vigorously as you would do while looking for potential investors.

Creating a strong social media presence will help you to get noticed by a larger number of interested co-founders. Attending industry conferences, local business organization meetings and entrepreneur forums can be useful as well.

You can also be part of online entrepreneur groups on LinkedIn or Facebook, and have interactions on Twitter with people who share your interests.

Look for someone who comes from a different background

In the global economy of today’s world, the perfect partner for you may be half way across the world, from a different geography, educational background and business culture.

Having smart qualified people coming from different cultural and educational backdrops in of your startup infrastructure will definitely work in your favor.

They will surely be able to bring in new energy and creativity to your brand. It will also up the versatility factor of your startup.

Write a well thought-out job description clarifying your priorities

Don’t be biased and consider your best friend or a family member as a candidate without paying attention to their compatibility just because they will be easier to work with.

Start with taking a good look at the strength and weaknesses of your own business. Compiling exactly what skills and experiences you are looking for in your partner that will best complement your own would be a good step to take.

You can always put your faith in the opinions of seasoned investors and peers while evaluating candidates.

Take a look into the common interests of the candidates outside work

To explore your personal chemistry with your future Co-founder and common interests shared by both of you, extend the relationship out of your office building. Before you offer half of your company, take some time to get personally acquainted with each other.

Find common hobbies or sports you both enjoy. Business partnerships tend to be long-term correspondences; so before you seal the deal, make sure you don’t neglect getting familiarized.

A good relationship between the partners will be very beneficial for the company in the long run.

Reconnect with colleagues from prior assignments if needed

If you have had previous work experiences with someone and that person has left a mark on you because of his/her capabilities or drive, you should contact them again and check their availability.

It will be much easier for you since you already have worked together in previous projects and you’ll have a clear idea about what to expect from them.

Considering their recommendations will help you widen your range of potential candidates. But don’t forget to be careful about conflicts of interests or tacky clauses.

Consider attending local University entrepreneur gatherings

University professors and student leaders are usually acquainted with a host of top entrepreneurs, staff members or alums who are just waiting for the perfect partner befitting their own prowess, interests, and entrepreneurial scheme.

You’ll be surprised to see how much you can support yourself by supporting such local activities.

Try relocating

Your current location may not be best suitable for you to come across the kind of co-founder you seek. For example, if your startup is tech-based, you should consider locations which are well-known tech hubs.

The same goes for other kinds of startups as well. Find a location that will be best suited for your venture.

Such an area will not only help you meet numerous candidates for a potential partner, but also will introduce you to an ecosystem filled with a plethora of investors, programmers and customers needed by your start-up.

Join forces while defining major milestones for the startup

Working as a team is important; and jointly defining major milestones and key metrics is the final test of your shared vision and working technique as a team. If you and your future co-founder have clashing opinions and cannot put your private differences behind, it will only get harder.

The work that goes behind establishing a startup is toilsome and unpredictable; it demands a lot of commitment. If it is difficult for you and your partner to jointly commit, work as a team and come to agreements easily, it probably will have drastic circumstances in the future.

Try your hand at online matchmaking sites for business partners

While looking for co-founders or business partners for startups, don’t be afraid to take a chance and join explore-sites. You might meet someone perfect for your business requirements whom you could not have met anywhere else.

You can also initiate a discussion on popular business blogs frequented by entrepreneurs, where you can make yourself and your interests known.

Negotiate the roles you are going to play in the startup at an early stage

To avoid future debacles, make sure to negotiate and document your respective roles early, including who is in charge of what.

It should be made clear that no matter how equally capable you all are; only one person can be at the top entitled to make the final decision on difficult and sometimes controversial issues.

There is room for only one chief executive officer. Don’t shy away from asking each other hard questions if the situation demands. Be very cautious about avoiding conflicts in management; nothing can weaken a startup more than internal turmoil.

Great teams always persevere on the road to success. There will be many hardships an entrepreneur and his/her startup must face. Finding a well-matched partner will make sure that you won’t be alone on that difficult journey.


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