Committing to working with a business partner is a significant step that could be the make or break of a company. So, you need to ask some important questions to find out as much as possible about their interest, intentions and life outside of work in order to know you are doing what is best for the company. Here are 5 of the most important questions that you should be asking your potential business partner!
- What is your financial situation?
If your business partner is going to be investing in the business financially, it is essential that they are upfront and honest about their financial situation. You should ask for a copy of their credit score and also discuss their investment portfolio. If the person you are working with has a bad history when it comes to their finances, not only might they be unreliable when the company needs money but they also shouldn’t be trusted with the businesses finances either.
- How do you deal with difficult situations?
As a business owner, it is vital that someone is able to deal with difficult situations in a calm and measured manner. So, give your potential partner a crisis scenario and ask how they would react to rectify the problem.
For example, if you were investing in a residential property auction and the person was outbid over the decided budget, would they immediately bid higher or would they take a step back to weigh up the options? If their response is to act immediately when you like to take time to consider the best course of action, this could be an issue.
- How much time are you able to commit to the business?
Asking this question will help you to gauge how involved they are hoping to be in the business. Whilst workloads between business owners aren’t always split 50/50, it is important that your vision aligns with their expectations. Make sure that this business is something they are willing to commit to, including late nights and weekends if needed occasionally. This will help to avoid awkward conversations about people not pulling their weight further down the line.
- What is your vision for the business over the next 5 years?
If your ideas for the future of the business are completely different to your potential business partners, this is likely to cause friction when it comes to making important decisions. Allow them to open up about some of their ideas, then suggest some of your own and see how they react. You need to make sure you want the business to go in the same direction. This is also a good opportunity to discuss their experience in scaling a business to see whether they can realistically meet the goals they have for the business.
- What are your weaknesses?
If two business partners have the same weaknesses, then the business will have particularly weak areas. So, you should listen to their weaknesses and think about whether they are similar to your own. The best case scenario is that your weaknesses are complimented by their strengths, which would be the perfect partnership.
These questions should help you to get a better idea about whether you and your business partner will work well together. Whether you are going to be running a commercial property auction company or a new fashion brand, these questions will be important and relevant for any industry. Although you don’t need to have the exact same answers for these questions, your overall vision and willingness to commit to the business should be similar.