How do I take on a business partner?

How do I take on a business partner?


My business is starting to grow rapidly and I’m considering taking on a partner. What sort of things do I have to consider when seeking out a partner?

A partnership is two or more entities working together in a structured way to achieve a desired outcome. Within this definition, there are several ways that a partnership can be structured.

First and foremost it’s important to have a formal contract that defines your partnership. However, it’s also advisable to go into partnership with somebody that you already have a great relationship with.

You also need to be clear about why you’re taking on a partner. Is it to find new markets or to grow sales? Or are you looking for a cash injection that a partner can bring to your business?

The answer to the above will dictate how you go about choosing a partner. You need to find someone who has the same values as you and who can complement your business by bringing something to the table that you don’t already have.

You may find that you already know someone who’d be suitable, or you could use your network of contacts to find the right person for you and your business.

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Greg Fisher
Greg Fisher, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Management & Entrepreneurship Department at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. He teaches courses on Strategy, Entrepreneurship, and Turnaround Management. He has a PhD in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington in Seattle and an MBA from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). He is also a visiting lecturer at GIBS.