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The start of a startup is often a feeling of euphoria and pink glasses. In relation to the business partner, a kind of love arises, together you seem to yourself omnipotent.

During this period, it is rather difficult to notice the warning signs, which may indicate that the partnership will not be very successful.

Nicholas Cole, founder of Digital Press and one of the most popular authors on Medium, Quora, Inc Magazine, talks about his experience building partnerships in business.

How to look for a business partner 0
My mentors in business liked to repeat one statement when it came to partnerships, buying and merging businesses, and even cooperation with ordinary clients:

Let’s go on a couple of “dates” before “jumping into bed.”
Before heading into an affiliate business, take a step back and ask yourself a few questions about your partner:

How well do you know the person you are going to do business with?

What can he or she bring to the common cause?

And most importantly, would you like to continue to conduct a common business in five years?

Here are six signs by which you can recognize a bad business partner at the initial stage.

1. If everything is too good to be true, it is probably not true.
We hear about this from childhood, but I filled a few cones before I realized what I was talking about.

If in words everything is too good, then it is likely that in reality everything will be different. And the “best business partner” will turn out to be the one from whom you should take your feet from the very beginning. How to look for a business partner

A very revealing story happened to me in college. I founded a “record company” (I actually wrote bits in a dorm room) and advertised my services throughout the campus.

A few weeks later a man called me, introduced himself as an agent of the American singer R. Kelly and said that he wanted to listen to one of my works.

I sent him a few bits and he was delighted. It turned out that I was simply brilliant and I was waiting for great success. He said that he would like to introduce me to R. Kelly already tonight and show him my material.

For this, he wanted a symbolic $ 300, “managerial fee.” I was a naive 19-year-old kid and immediately ran to the ATM to withdraw all my savings. We met at the nearest station, I gave him the money and never saw him again.

How to look for a business partner 2How to look for a business partner 3

If it is just as painful for you to read about it, as it was not easy for me to write, you can imagine what it was like for me – a sophomore with zero on the map.

It was a cruel lesson, but it turned out to be very important for my decisions in the future.
2. Partners have hidden motives
Each pursues its own goals, and there is nothing wrong with that. The main thing to remember about this. Before you start a business with someone, find out what your potential partner is already doing. Perhaps a partnership with you may have additional benefits for him?

In some cases, this can be a very good prerequisite for cooperation.

Entrepreneurs can enter into new partnerships for the development of existing companies. Or vice versa – to support a new one at the expense of another profitable business. And that is wonderful.

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However, you should pay attention to what will be a priority in your partnership. In addition, you may have a different vision of your undertaking. Perhaps you want to build an empire, and the partner does not plan to play for long.

Therefore, it is extremely important to study not only the market, but also how your potential partners live. This information will allow you to understand what interests they actually pursue.
3. Lack of expertise
Often in business, as in marriage, opposites attract.

People are looking for those who compensate for their shortcomings – this is the meaning of partnership.
We need a person who will do what we do not know how or do not want. In the case of a business partnership, complementary expertise is required.

If your potential partner is not an expert in any of the areas relevant to you, you should think carefully about such a choice.

There is a big difference between those who “really want” and those who know what to do.

How to look for a business partner

The desire to work and develop should not be discounted, but this desire to evaluate is much more difficult than real experience and knowledge.

This is especially important if your partnership is built on a 50/50 basis. Anyone with a second 50% must be an expert.

Practice shows that diligence, time and general skills are easily replaceable. Examination can not only be of great value, but in general it can be indispensable.
4. You invest unevenly
It is important to clearly understand who will do what and to what extent.

If one of you is a “strategist”, who appears in the office once a week and offers ideas, and the other is a performer who works hard for 15 hours a day.

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