How to find the right co-founder for your startup

Tips to choose the perfect cofounder for your startup

Should I become a solo entrepreneur? Many businesses may ponder around this question, not realizing how important the role of a co-founder is. You may have a million-dollar idea for your startup, but starting a business is really hard! Once you begin executing your idea, you will realize that there is an enormous amount of work.

Do you really need a co-founder for your startup?

A relationship with your co-founder is like a marriage. Why do people marry? Maybe because they don’t want to spend their lives alone. I think it allows you to share and grow together. Your co-partner is someone who helps re-distribute work and stress from your business. It is not necessary to have a co-founder. Many successful businesses are led by solo entrepreneurs. However, having a co-founder has its own advantages. Two brains are better than one! They bring along skills that you may lack. Together you can help your business grow.

So, the first step should be realizing if you really need a co-founder for your startup. If the answer is yes, here are a few important points you should keep in mind before starting your co-founder hunt:

Set clear requirements

Make sure you know what you are looking for, before starting your co-founder hunt. Create a list of responsibilities, characteristics and skills you want from your co-founder. Ask yourself questions like, what kind of personality should they have? Do I need them for emotional or financial support? Once you know what your perfect co-founder looks like, it will be easy to evaluate and find the right person. However, remember to have realistic expectations.

They will have their weaknesses too, you need to find a way to complement that with your strengths. Assess each other’s strengths, weaknesses and skills to see if you complement each other. For example, if you have an e-commerce business, and you are not techno-savvy, do you need someone with immense technical knowledge? If you are a shy person, you want someone who is the opposite of you. Remember, you are looking for someone who has the necessary skills that you don’t. Communicate what each of you will bring to the table and see if your skills counterpart.

Be on the same page as your co-founder

To find the right co-founder, you need to find someone who will be on the same page as you. If your visions and missions do not match, these differences will create problems for your business. There is only a certain limit of compromises that can be made. You should look for a co-founder who shares the same mindset, goals and has a long term vision.

You don’t want to work with something who is pessimistic. Instead, you need to find someone who is passionate and dedicated. Someone who can see and capture opportunities at the right time. Someone who is a risk-taker, open to feedback, adaptable, and always ready to learn. In a nutshell, both of you should be equally committed to your business. Make sure you are on the same page about decisions regarding your business goals.

Don’t compromise and think long term

Understand that you need to be patient while searching for your ideal co-founder. Don’t rush the process but also don’t settle. It is not about just hiring someone as your co-founder, but rather about finding the right co-founder for your business. You do want someone who is unwilling to communicate and co-operate. Or, someone who becomes an obstacle to the growth of your business. Look for someone that matches most of your requirements.

To have a prosperous partnership and a successful business, you need a co-founder who is there to stay. Does your co-founder have a long term vision for the business? Do they have the type of personality you can deal with on a daily basis? These are the type of questions you need to ask yourself when deciding if that person is the right co-founder or not.

Now, with all this knowledge about what the right co-founder for your business looks like. You might wonder, where can you find someone that matches all these criteria?

Where to look for the perfect co-founder?

Start with your own network

It is easier to work with familiar people instead of strangers. Use your personal connections to find your co-founder. Start by asking your friends and family if they know someone who’d be interested in joining you. Contact your colleagues that you have worked with before. People won’t help you unless you ask for their help.

Look at the right locations

Social media is one of the best ways to interact and find a co-founder. Platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook make it easier to find like-minded people. Join communities online and start interacting with them first. You can also visit job boards or startups forums and events. This way it is easier to find someone who is already interested in doing some kind of business. If someone seems like a potential co-founder for your startup, then you can take it ahead and conduct meetings to get to know them better.

What to do after finding the perfect co-founder?

Let’s suppose you have found your co-founder. Now you need to make sure your co-founder is a person who maintains compliance. Create a founder’s agreement that mentions their role and responsibilities clearly. Not only does it help navigate how much part does your co-founder play in the business but it also helps when things don’t go as planned. When partnerships come to an end, everything comes to an end. Make sure your agreement legally mentions this to avoid problems.

Your co-founder will need to sign an agreement, once they join you. After reviewing and confirming, share the contractual documents will them. Make them sign agreements and formalities. There might be some changes that you’ll need to make in the agreement, so make sure you willing to adapt. Wrap your deal and then internally divide roles and responsibilities.

A co-founder can make or break your business. So be very careful. Make sure you do a background check. Remember to start slow, and employ a co-founder only after a proper trial period. It is a hard reality, but finding the right co-founder is a long process. Invest your time and resources properly.

Do you think you are ready to grow your business by finding the right co-founder?

Sanskruti Sawant

Sanskruti Sawant

I enjoy reading and exploring stories about people and places. Besides from being a theatre enthusiast, I love learning about complex ideologies and can call myself a linguist in English and Spanish.

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