It takes more than just chemistry to be successful business partners with someone. Ask the person that you have in mind the new tough questions ahead of time, and save yourself possibly years of frustration and grief by not going into business with the wrong person.
Can you handle conflicts successfully?
All partners are going to disagree sometimes. Pay attention to how a prospective partner deals with differences of opinion. It will be a good indicator of how he or she resolves conflicts. For instance, if one partner tends to get emotional with big decisions, ask yourself if that’s something you can handle. Otherwise, you could feel continually perplexed when major decisions need to get made but the other person can’t keep it together.
Do you genuinely like your partner?
No matter how well-connected or smart a potential partner may be, it will be hard to work together day in and day out if you don’t like each other’s company. With business partners, it is personal. You have to believe that you can get along with this person for the long-term.
Have you done your due diligence regarding this person?
You do not want to find out after you’ve signed a contract that a prospective partner has gotten in trouble for embezzlement before or has a long history of suing past business associates. To minimize any unpleasant surprises, do a thorough background check on a prospective partner on a trusted site, especially if you’re just getting acquainted with this person.
It only makes sense that if you’re going into a business partnership with someone that you cover your bases as best you can—even more important, of course, if you’re putting in the bulk of the investment capital. If a background report does raise any red flags, you need to have a discussion and decide if it’s worth it to go into business with this person.
Do you trust your partner the way you would a spouse?
Even if you run a background check on a prospective partner, no matter the results, you also want to pay attention to your gut instincts about whether you think this person is responsible and ethical. But this can take some time. It’s to your benefit to not jump into a business partnership with someone right away. Before signing on the dotted line, get to know him or her as best you can, if you don’t already.
Read the articles on websites designed for the small business owner. One of their biggest goals is to help you make smart decisions on all aspects of running a business, whether it’s a sole proprietorship or with business partners.