By Anelisa Kasper
When people come to the decision of starting their own business, some usually venture on their own or find like-minded people that they want to co-found the business with. This decision can either be good or bad for your business and that’s why making the decision is not as easy as we think. One has to take into consideration the different personalities that come together to make the business venture work. It is not about ensuring that you work hard to make money and get your service or product across to people, but to ensure that during times of conflict, you have the right co-founders to balance those important decisions and stay aligned to the goals of the business.
Look for a co-founder from a different background
When starting a business, many factors need to be taken into consideration. As much as one starts out on their own in the beginning stages, having a co-founder is essential. More importantly, having a co-founder that has a different background from you helps in ensuring that things get done quicker. An example that is common is in situations where co-founders have come together to start a tech venture. In most cases, the co-founders all have technical backgrounds and are hands-on in wanting to build a product. However, the sales and marketing, accounting and project management aspects are usually neglected. Start-ups then tend to outsource these functions. It’s important to note that in the beginning stage, you are not making much money so the cost of outsourcing these functions can be expensive, unless you have connections or networks that are willing to offer you these services free of charge. To avoid this, getting a co-founder that is skilled in another field besides yours will be beneficial to your start-up; but with choosing a co-founder also comes trust.
Your goals and motives should align
For a successful business venture with your co-founder, your goals and motives should align. In having different people running the start-up, conflict may occur but it is critical that all co-founders know and understand what needs to drive the business to be successful and what the motive is in ensuring that the business is successful. If there is no alignment, there is a better chance that your business will dissipate.
Find someone who is as determined and motivated as you are
Not many people survive the beginning stages of the start-up journey without being determined and motivated. It requires copious amounts of time and energy to get it off the ground. The determination and motivation should come from you and your co-founders as you are the core team that keeps the business going. There are moments of fatigue in running a business, hence you must ensure that you and your co-founders re-energize and remain motivated in making the business a success. It is important to remember that as your team grows, and you appoint more people in your start-up, the founders become the role models. In times of hardship, the team will look at the co-founders on the next immediate steps and how to ensure the ship does not sink.
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Author: Anelisa Kasper
Anelisa Kasper is a Business Analyst for a consulting firm in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has been involved in major projects in the telecommunications and banking industries, and also served as the Research Officer and Head of Project Management at a tech incubator based in the Eastern Cape. She is passionate about helping young people pursue their entrepreneurial goals.