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4 Methods to Use in Your Search for the Perfect Business Partner
  • 14 February 2018
  • Daniel Vahab

4 Methods to Use in Your Search for the Perfect Business Partner

If you’re looking to go into business with someone, it’s important to consider all of the advantages and disadvantages that come along with business partnerships. When the pros of a partnership outweigh the cons, the next step is to find the right partner to help your business thrive. Ideally, this individual should provide you a complementary set of skills, experience, and connections.

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1. Look at your existing sphere of influence

Start by looking at your current connections (and any connections they may have). Consider putting feelers out to friends, family members, colleagues, vendors or fellow members of clubs or organizations you’re associated with. Start asking these folks if they know anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit that [insert industry, background, values, experience, etc. qualifications that are important to you].

Over time, your list of contacts will grow, extending beyond those with whom you interact with first-hand on a regular basis. Your network likely reaches across the internet, making it easier than ever to find a trusted source in the right industry, and reach out for advice and recommendations.

2. Use social media platforms

LinkedIn, the largest professional social network, is a great resource to leverage in your quest for a business partner. With more than 450 million members, LinkedIn features professional profiles, job opportunities, companies, skills, associations, and more to help you in your search.

Facebook friends and groups are another opportunity for business partner exploration. While many would argue that it’s risky to go into business with a friend, these Facebook connections may have folks from their own networks that they might recommend you to consider.

Depending on your industry and the type of partner you’re looking for, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest could be another resource. Each platform can help you to develop strategic relationships with like-minded individuals.

3. Network at industry events

Networking with new people at various conferences, training seminars, speaking engagements, or award ceremonies are all opportunities to meet potential business partners, in-person. Think of these events as opportunities to cast your net out – with the goal of expanding your reach of potential partners. If you align with the theory of six degrees of separation, you can be confident that you’re never too far from an introduction to the “right” person.

Instead of merely showing up to these events, take some time to prepare. Walk in knowing what you want to accomplish and the type of individual you are seeking. As part of your preparation, do some research to find out who else will be there – attendees, speakers, and vendors. Set a goal for yourself on the number of new contacts you want to meet. Be sure to follow up with any meaningful connections that you make.

You might even consider reaching out in advance to potential partners who will be attending. Introduce yourself, your company (or the enterprise you are looking to launch), mission statement, products or services, and background. Based on any initial discussions, you might plan to meet up at the event. Personalize your outreach to show that you really care about building a relationship and value their time.

4. Get recommendations from trusted authorities

Read industry publications, business magazines, and local business papers. Look for experienced business owners who have a track record of success. And then look for opportunities to connect with these people so that you can start developing a business relationship.

Evaluate feedback on review sites like the Better Business Bureau, ConsumerAffairs, and Manta. Seek out partners who have skills that complement your own to fill gaps in your business.

We have all heard the phrase: "Two heads are better than one." Once you decide you want a business partner, it is critical to do your research and go beyond your inner circle when looking for the right candidate.

You want to be confident that you can trust your business partner to share the responsibility and decision making, offering your business greater flexibility and potential for growth.

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