Starting up a business on your own is a daunting task and is difficult, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Maybe you lack some skills or time, or maybe you just need some motivation. Choosing a co-founder is so much more important than many think, it’s like choosing your partner for marriage. Make sure you choose wisely.
First up, let’s discuss:
What is a cofounder?
A cofounder is someone who is there at the beginning of the business. Each person who is there from birth and is involved in the creation, execution or planning is considered by most to be a co-founder. A co-founder is different to a founder as a founder is the one who actually came up with the original idea. There’s no legal meaning to the title and they are often used interchangeably.
What skills don’t you possess?
You must work out what skills you lack in and also what your strong point are. You want your co-founder to compliment these traits with theirs. Consider writing a job description by examining your business and seeing what it needs.
Conduct a SWOT analysis on your business so you can accurately determine what your co-founders traits and skills need to be. For instance, if you’re an introvert, an extrovert will compliment you well. In business, confidence and charisma can go a long way and can even make the sale. One builds and one sells.
Align Your Values
You and your co-founders values must match. Do you want the same thing? Does your vision for the business align? Are they as motivated as you are? It can be good to go with a friend that you’re experienced with but this can have a negative effect on your relationship. When you meet a potential co-founder, find out what they’re like as a person – not just on paper.
Factor In Your Personal Life
The one thing many forget is, do you want children and if so, when? If it’s in the same timescale as your potential co-founder then you may not be a good match. Imagine – you’re in a vital part of your business growth and yet both of you are distracted due to a new arrival in your family… not good hey?
Okay, But How Do I Find A Co-Founder?
Well, I’m glad you asked – after all this is the point of this blog post 😉
Shared office spaces allow you to find like-minded entrepreneurs and often hold events for doing so. Check out the coworking spaces in your area to see if they have something going on.
There are a number of blind date options for finding a co-founder, matching people with their skills like – Founder2Be CoFounderSlab, TechCoFounder, Work In Startups and Reddit . But I would recommend finding someone with mutual connections and building a rapport with this person – you have to be able to trust them 100%.
Social Networks like Twitter and LinkedIn can help you find people in your industry and potentially even a co-founder. Consider using the relevant tools to search these networks – you may find your perfect fit.
Colleague’s and ex classmates can be good co-founders as you know their work style and you know them personally. However, you have to be careful on this one as it can ruin friendships. Make sure you both know when to draw the line with business and work or you may end up with a messy “break up”.
No matter where you are, whether you’re out networking, drinking coffee or in the library – these are all potential places to meet your new co-founder. You never know until you spark up a conversation with someone!
- Don’t give away equity straight away, build a rapport and make sure you can trust them
- Trust the vibes you’re feeling, if it’s not feeling right it probably isn’t.
- Don’t try to change someone to fit your business, it will never work.