Magazine article Management Today

Playing the Field. (Building to Last)

Magazine article Management Today

Playing the Field. (Building to Last)

Article excerpt

DILEMMA: I've been trying to find the ideal business partner for ages, with no luck It's damned lonely running the business on my own -- I need someone to bounce ideas off. How can I find the right person?

ISSUES: What's the real problem? Are you looking for the right thing? Could it be that you haven't been entirely honest and it's that you keep getting rejected?

What do you want a partner for? A soulmate, someone to share the management burden with, or something else? If you want an equal in terms of contribution and ownership, you need to be picky and play the field a little.

A good partner must have the same sense of ownership, possess complementary skills and be compatible with you, the business and the top team. But remember to assess the potential of your business first. If this is significant, a partnership may be just an interim step.

Finding the ideal partner is usually down to great networking or advertising. If you know any good partnerships, ask them how they got together and why it works so well. Look around in your sector and in the local business community. A frustrated young turk in a competitor might fit the bill.

Try a number of routes energetically, have a good pitch and be selective. …

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