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How Do I Find a Suitable Business Partner?

business partnerTurning an idea or existing small business into a successful enterprise is a difficult proposition. Going it alone can make it even more so. Not only is the financial liability on one person, that person must perform multiple functions and excel at all of them. companies.

If you need the expertise or financial strength of a partner to grow your small business, finding the right one the first time does not have to difficult. Or perhaps finding the right supplier or vendor, willing and able to negotiate favorable terms is needed.

To Start

First take a close inventory of your business to determine what you need to reach your objectives, whatever those may be. It could be finding a partner with a particular expertise, or someone able to take over part of the responsibility to free up your time.

Examining your needs first will help narrow your focus.

Consider the type of person or company you are seeking. There is too much time and too much riding on a small business partnership to not consider his or her personality in addition to their services. So ask yourself: what are the key attributes you need to grow a successful partnership? This doesn’t necessarily require a personal friendship, but a business partner should share your ethics and business objectives.

Locating a Partner

Give some consideration to the groups, people, and organizations you already know and have developed relationships with. They may be social, personal (such as church or athletic team), or business-related industry associations. Even if your existing network is not immediately fruitful, one or more contacts may be able to point you in the right direction.

Your local business community is another resource in your search for the right partner. The business paper’s Calendar of Events section lists forums, workshops and networking groups that meet to share information and make contacts. Research each to determine which is most likely to attract the kind of people with the skill sets, contacts and expertise you are looking for.

When you think you have found the right partner for your business, conduct a reference and credit check. This will help ensure the time and effort you have put into your search was not in vain.



Tim Brugger has been writing professionally since 1995, publishing professional newsletters, as well as business and informational articles for financial organizations across the country. Brugger majored in business studies at the University of Oregon.