Finding a co-founder or recruiting a core team is hard work. It is a long, dragged out process and you have the right to be picky and should be picky. Ultimately, choosing a co-founder is like choosing a spouse. A business partnership truly is a marriage. You will have to make compromises when it comes to money, ideas, scheduling and so much more. Look for someone who can bring something different to the table, if you are more tech-savvy look for someone who is business oriented. A successful partnership is one where each co-founder has their own area of expertise and when you combine those two separate areas you’ll find you have yourself a successful duo. Don’t jump the gun and enter into a partnership just because you like what you see right of the bat. “Date”, get to know who your potential candidate is and if they share similar views, if they’re trust worthy and loyal. After a few months of feeling them out – then take the next step and propose a business plan together.
The next step of your marriage with your new co-founder or core team is a critical one. It is the planning stage and it is important to protect yourself and prepare yourself for anything and everything that may come your way. Business plans are tricky, so be prepared that someone may walk out early, startups require time and the unfortunate truth is that people don’t realize how time consuming a partnership is until they’ve already entered into it. You want to protect yourself when it comes to trade secrets, relationships with past employer and ownership of IP. These precautions all lead up to your business plan; this will serve as your guide to managing your expectations as founders, core team and investors. This map will draw up the goals you wish to achieve and paths you plan to take. More often than not, this guide will have to be re-written, thrown away and re-written four more times. Persistence is key when planning your startup, don’t let road blocks discourage you, plans will change and ideas will grow or burn out – as long as you have the support of you partner you’re good.
Some people find success in the solo act – but I urge you to find that support system instead. Co-founders and core teams will be there to help you with the big things that aren’t easy to do alone. First, financing – investors tend to back teams over ideas, especially over solo founders. Second, two heads are better than one – when there is more than one person reading the roadmap there is more energy and devotion in case someone loses interest. It is always nice to have an extra hand pick up that slack. Lastly, it is more fun to have a team; you can support each other emotionally and celebrate when you’ve accomplished a goal.
At the end of the day building a startup is tough and business plans might make you go a little crazy. The road to success is long for entrepreneurs, so take the extra time to meet people in the same field as you, or with similar ideas and passions as you and form a partnership. Find a business companion to accomplish your dreams with, but don’t forget to “date” them before you make it official.