Starting a business as a single-person founder is possible and awesome at the same time because it is 2.6 times more likely to succeed than building a business with co-founders. However, you have to keep in mind that founding a company solo and with a partner offers different dynamics of management and finances.
If you have an idea and to materialise it you need help from an expert in another sub-niche of the same business, a partner (co-founder) can be of great help. Running a business with co-founders also helps in streamlining the setup of a startup without any hassle and with equal contribution and dedication. Especially if your partner shares the same vision as you, the success of your early company can be guaranteed.
See also: The Difference between Founder and Co-founder
Co-founder is helpful but the right one is difficult to get.
Having a co-founder helps lessen the burden of starting a company. You can divide the workload and share ideas to find solutions for any issues. Despite being helpful, meeting the right co-founder for your business is not a piece of cake. Here is why:
- It is difficult to find a co-founder who more or less shares the same point of view about a startup you are going to be venturing. If the mentality of handling, managing and starting a business does not go hand-in-hand of both partners, it is going to be difficult in the long run to work together.
- Co-founders can be everywhere but a quality co-founder is like finding a needle in a haystack. An honest and modest person with the right mix of qualities and integrity are not easy to find these days and you always have the chances to come across people who might have all it needs but just might be too shrewd for you.
- You cannot just ask people to team up with you as co-founder. Spend time with them to discover interests and how they really are as a person. Spending more time with a person helps in answering questions like – will I be able to work with them for a long time?
- You must define in a very precise manner what your project is all about, what your motivations are and what are the real and core objectives of your business. Staying on the same page at all times is not possible but the differences should be constructive and pointing towards the long term vision, rather than personal differences, adamancy or selfishness.
- One of the most important qualities that you need to search for in your future co-founder person is trustworthiness. You would be sharing a bulk load of confidential information with them and you do not want to risk a leak.
- Keeping financial patterns, shares and management on the plate very clearly from the very beginning is necessary to ensure that there are basically no differences as to who gets what later on when the business is in full flow and the cash in-flow is supposedly on the higher side.
- You should know the motivations of your co-founder to truly be able to collaborate with them. Do they like fame, money, a good lifestyle, accolades, or time? Knowing strengths and weaknesses of your partner is very necessary and this can only be done when you spend good enough time with them.
- Be clear from the very start as to what challenges you are facing, be it investment or technicalities. Make sure that you put forward your perspective and vision as to what excites you about this business and what are the realities as well as the long-standing statistics that are life-changing in nature.
- From the very start, make sure you are clear as to what you are good at and what your role would be and what do you expect from your co-founder or what their role would be. There would definitely be a friendly aroma of helping each other out and taking the advice and suggestions from each other but designating the roles from the very beginning helps in ensuring that there are no differences or roles overlapping afterwards.
There are many considerations to put if you want your business to flourish with the help of co-founders. There are also questions you should answer in order to avoid challenges before you can actually find a good co-founder who would work in collaboration.
How about that childhood friend you’ve shared anything and everything with?
You might have a close friend who has accompanied you through ups and downs. Believing that they understand you so well, you think that starting a company together with them will be fun.
Co-founder of StartupNation Rich Sloan told New York Times that when you have a great idea, you might be inclined to talk about it to strangers. You might also think that these strangers lack the skills and capabilities to run a startup with you. No wonder, many people turn to a friend for that, Mr. Sloan added.
It is completely okay to start a business with your friend, even statistics showed that numerous founders decided to go into business with their friends. However, Mr. Sloan advised that you need to balance between your business and friendship. There are three principles Mr. Sloan suggested if you want to found a business on friendship: overcommunication, laying out specific roles and responsibilities, and knowing when to turn on and off business and friendship.
Read also: Looking For A Co-Founder? Make Sure They Have These Qualities!