Together Forever? How to Choose the Right Business Partner

It is said that two heads are better than one…. albeit usually true, sometimes it depends on which two heads.  Having the right partner is the foundation for a successful business.  However, finding that partner may be the hardest part of starting your business. 

There’s no better teacher than time and personal experience. There are, however, certain lessons we can learn from others who have lived through similar experiences.  And so I offer the following:

Have common goals

In the most literal sense, this means you should both understand the goals of the business and what milestones the entity is trying to reach and at what points. On a deeper level, it is important to understand the bigger picture behind reaching those goals and what expectation each partner has for the future. One partner may want fortune while the other wants fame, one may want to help the world, while the other wants notoriety. While having goals that are aligned makes it easier, it is also acceptable to have different goals so long as they complement each other. For example say one partner is not interested in the money only in helping the community, while the other feels that making a fortune is the ultimate goal, in making certain decisions regarding the direction of the business: prices, events to attend, clientele to cater to, and so forth, this may cause an issue. This shouldn’t be a deal breaker, however, if your goals are not aligned then the business itself cannot achieve those goals simultaneously. This should be a conversation prior to the commencement of the business. 

Have respect

Respect is not only fundamental for how you treat each other but also for the success of your business. You should respect the person as a human and also as a professional.  Respect achieves three main things: First, it makes your working environment pleasant and efficient. Next, if you truly respect your partner you likely also trust him or her. Lastly, your clients will trust and respect them as well. The day you lose respect for your partner, the partnership and likely the business, will crumble. The respect should be mutual; your partner should appreciate what you bring to the team as well. Having mutual respect will go a long way when days get tough. 

Find someone who compliments your strengths and weaknesses

More often than not finding a partner seems like it’s about the other person.  However, the best way to find the perfect match is to do some introspection. Analyzing ones strengths is usually the easier of the two tasks, and while important to know and value what you contribute to the team, it is equally, if not more important to know your weaknesses. Finding someone who not only compliments your weaknesses with their strengths but also knows how to properly handle your shortcomings is fundamental to a long term partnership. Recognize your flaws and appreciate someone who can handle them. 

Know what you value most

Some value charisma, others honesty, and others willingness to take risks. Whatever, qualities you feel are going to contribute most to the success of your business and achieving your goals those are the qualities you should find in your partner. While ideally we find a partner that has it all, it’s slightly unrealistic, and so having certain priorities when making a decision can facilitate that process. 

Personality matters

Yes, having an attractive, funny, and witty partner is a dream, however, this isn’t about finding a date. It’s about finding the perfect complement to boost your chances at success. And so in general, yes, you should enjoy their company. However, attributes of their personality regarding how they solve problems, how they deal with a crisis, what makes them happy or satisfied, and their attitude towards different situations is what matters when choosing your partner.

While these tips should be used as a guide or thoughts to keep in mind, there truly is no way to ensure that a partnership will succeed.  For better or worse partnerships are tested in the real world in ways that no amount of preparation can guarantee survival. But if you’re lucky enough to find that perfect partner, your business is sure to reap the benefits.

Brenda Schamy has a multi-faceted background in criminal defense, immigration, corporate counsel and entertainment law. Due to her extensive entrepreneurial experience, Brenda is particularly skilled in business-management, taking on the role of a forward-thinker who actively anticipates the needs, concerns, and opportunities of our corporate clients. Brenda excels at looking beyond the legal scope of business and works closely with our clients to actualize their goals.

Prior to founding Erickson & Schamy (now DiSchino & Schamy, PLLC), Brenda was a Miami Dade Public Defender. With over sixty trials taken to verdict, she is especially comfortable in a courtroom and is always ready to fight for her clients’ interests. Throughout her legal career, Brenda has also been heavily exposed to immigration, music, and the entertainment industry.