3 Important Factors for Attracting a Business Partner
Doing business alone has many benefits as you will be free to choose your own business, to recruit your own people when you need to, to make strategic decisions, to have one hundred percent profits, etc. It is also your choice to rapidly build your business or not. But on the other hand, a business without a partner is can be laborious and requires extra energy, increased capital (especially if the business getting bigger), and you have a greater risk of losing all your money or assets.
If you no longer feel that your capital is enough, or if you feel that your business is stuck and you need a person who can provide fresh ideas, or share the losses when business is down, then looking for a partner is one solution.
A long time ago, when Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, ordered Musa, Alaihis salam, to address Firaun, who was in disbelief, disobedience, and an arrogant tyrant, Musa, Alaihis Salam, asked Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, for a partner to help him to speak to Firaun. As we know, Musa, Alaihis salam, lived with Firaun when he was a child so he might have found it difficult to talk to the father who had raised him for a time. It is said that he also asked this to loose the knot of his tongue (incorrect speech), an impediment that he incurred as a result of a brand of fire which Musa, Alaihis salam, put in his mouth when he was an infant. As mentioned in the Al-Quranul Karim Surah Taha 29-32,
And appoint for me a helper from my family. Harun (Aaron), my brother. Increase my strength with him. And let him share my task (of conveying Allah’s Message and Prophethood).
Looking for a business partner is not easy because you have to find someone who can really be trusted, who can share responsibility, and who will be willing to take risks to achieve common goals. A partner may be someone that you have known for a long time, but can also be people who are not your close friends or family members. As long as you and your partner have the same goals, values, hobbies, interests, and mission, she or he can be a good partner.
Business partners can be male or female, it is your choice, but according to Betsy Polk and Maggie Ellis Chotas in their book Power Through Partnership; How Women Lead Better Together:
A woman’s partner is even more difficult because when a woman has a male partner, men tend to be more open / right to the point, he focuses from action to the results obtained. While a female partner, feeling becomes more central. Women are willing to contribute and to expect a more complicated relationship than frankly a business transaction.
However, the benefits to having business partners among women is that they will understand each other, especially when each partner is married, or if they have children who need attention from their mother. They will manage their working time cooperatively, particularly when their children are sick, if there is a parent teacher meeting at school, or a child’s graduation. In a partnership, you will be able to share your commitment to work for the objectives you both agree upon so that you can achieve your goals.
So how can we determine the right business partner? According to Betsy and Maggie, before seeking a partner, first you must evaluate yourself, your experiences, your ideals, and what assumptions you have. When it is clear what your assets, needs and wishes are, you will more easily find the appropriate partner.
In line with Betsy and Maggie, 3 important things to consider when seeking an appropriate partner are:
- Complementary skills, talents, and interests. If you have hobby producing crafts, artistic talent, are able to paint well but you do not have business sense, or you are not good at promoting and marketing your products, then you need to find someone who can compliment your weaknesses.
- Shared values. Values are beliefs that are meaningful to you. Business models should strongly reflect your shared values and you should effectively collaborate to bridge these values. Each partner can combine her/his strengths to successfully run the business.
- Compatibility. Last but not least, a partnership requires trust and mutual respect when doing business together. Without trust a partnership will not last long.
Although you may be cautious and not sure if you’ve found a suitable business partner, conflict among partners is not uncommon. Difference of opinion, misunderstandings, not being straightforward or dishonesty between partners can occur, specifically if the business lasts long. When conflict occurs, you have to maintain open minds and hearts, and recall why you are together doing business. Focus on the conflict which has disturbed your mind, and open up. When you successfully solve conflicts, the level of confidence, trust, and commitment together with your partner will be greater.
Editor: Janette Grant