Tough question. You think of entrepreneurship and all you see is work, tons of work and you realize that being 2, 3, 4 to start with could be a huge help at the beginning. Here are a few advice on how to get the best of your entrepreneurial experience at the start:
1. Avoid creating a large group of founders
First, I would advise not to start a business with a large group. Why? Because it’s harder to make decisions and it could be a challenge to take your business where you want to be with other people having different visions. Which leads to an important element for your associates: have a common vision. You should all have the same answer when you ask yourself this question: where do I want to take this company in the future? If not, think twice before partner up because creating a company is a long-term project. It’s like going from boyfriend-girlfriend to getting married, so think wisely and most importantly, trust your feelings about someone. Deep down, if you know that person is the one, go for it. In all cases, you will learn from this experience in a positive or bad way.
2. Get someone with complementary skills
Second, partner up with some that completes you. You are very creative and you hate math but your best friend is a real geek and has the same vision as you for your business? Why not go in this together? If you go with someone who’s like you, you might miss the opportunity to take your business to the next level and save money or time (as you will need to pay or spend more time providing these services for example).
3. Morals and vision should always come first
Third, choose someone who has the same morals as you. Going into business can be quite a roller-coaster journey and it could become quite nasty if you go with someone who does not play by the same rules… No need to use examples but it could really have an impact on your friendship, your business and everything you worked so hard for. So avoid surprises and go for the soul.
4. Who said you needed a partner?
Finally, you do not need to partner up to start your own business. Starting solo does not mean going solo. You can employ people with the skills you are lacking (marketing, accounting, administration) – look into government’s programs, they do offer help for small businesses willing to employ a certain category of people or have freelancers. You can also refer to different institutions that help entrepreneurs and have advisors and mentors there. For free! Ready to help you plan your project with your budget. Talk about your business with your close friends, listen to their recommendations, join entrepreneurs networks.. the list is long! So feel comfortable saying no to an associate but yes to all the help and advice you can get to make the right decisions for your company.
What about you? Do you have a partner or are you riding solo?