When you are looking for a business partner, it is fairly natural to assume that you need to find someone who is similar to you. You might assume that you will get along with this person in a fundamental way, and it will feel like the two of you would make a good team.
This can be true, and it can help make your company stronger. But it is important to consider the fact that finding someone who is too similar to you could be detrimental. In many ways, you’re actually better off finding someone who is a bit different.
The value of different skills
One reason for this is that you want to bring on someone who has different skills, which you do not provide to the company. Likewise, you have skills that that individual cannot provide. By working together, since there isn’t complete overlap, this makes it so the company can achieve more.
An example of this would be if you are terrific with customer service and connecting with other business professionals in the area, but you’re not sure how to design products or get them to market. Your business partner may be someone with knowledge and experience on creating the products but is unclear on how to find investors or the supply chain that is necessary. By working together, you can both succeed.
Avoiding unnecessary overlap
It can also be beneficial to have someone who is different than you so that you won’t want to have the same duties and jobs at the company. This type of overlap is problematic and it can lead to serious disputes between two business partners. If both people feel that they should be driving the company in a specific direction, for example, they may feel like the other person is holding them back. But if the two of you have very different roles and it is clear what you are best at, then these disputes are not as common and you can simply work together.
Of course, even choosing the best business partner that you can does not guarantee that a dispute will never crop up. If one does, you need to know what legal options you have.