Starting a business with a partner can be a great way to build a business. You’ll have someone to bounce ideas off of, help with the work, and share the profits with.
But before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important that you ask your potential partner some tough questions to make sure you are on the same page – literally and figuratively.
31 Questions to ask to get to know a potential business partner:
- What are your long-term goals?
- What are your short-term goals?
- Do our values align?
- What are your financial goals?
- What are your long-term career plans?
- What are your skills and strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- How do you deal with stress and adversity?
- Do we have complementary skills?
- Do we trust and respect each other?
- How do you work best – independently or as part of a team?
- What is your management style?
- What is your communication style?
- How do you deal with conflicts?
- How do you like to give and receive feedback?
- What is your work ethic like?
- Do you have experience in this industry?
- Do you have any connections in this industry?
- Do you have financing in place?
- Can you handle change and uncertainty?
- What is your competitive advantage?
- Can you afford to invest money in your business?
- Do you have any personal or professional commitments that might interfere with work?
- What experience do you have in starting and running a business?
- What is your track record in terms of sales and profitability?
- What legal protection do you have?
- What are your intellectual property assets?
- Do you have existing contracts with other companies or individuals?
- Have you ever been involved in litigation?
- Are there any outstanding judgments or liens against you?
- Are you currently involved in any legal disputes?
41 Questions to ask about your potential partnership:
- Why do you want to be in business with me/us?
- How will you use the capital?
- What is your vision for the company?
- Do you want to grow the company or keep it small?
- What is your expected role in the company?
- Who will be responsible for which tasks?
- How will decisions be made?
- What ideas do you have to generate revenue?
- What are your thoughts on taking on debt?
- How much time are you willing to devote to the business?
- Do you have any connections in the industry that could help us get started?
- Do you have ideas for new products or services that we could offer?
- What do you think makes our products/services unique?
- Who is our target market?
- How do you think we should market our products/services?
- Have you ever started a business before? If so, what experience have you had?
- Are you willing to take risks?
- What would happen if one of us wanted to exit the business later?
- What are your expectations of this partnership?
- What are your expectations for return on investment (ROI)?
- What contribution will you make to the company?
- What do you hope to gain from the company?
- What do you need from me/us to be successful?
- What are your deal-breakers?
- What is our plan if one of us wants out of the partnership?
- How will we deal with disagreements?
- How often will we communicate?
- How will we handle finances?
- What is our exit strategy?
- Have you ever had a business partnership? If so, what happened and why was it terminated?
- What do you think is the most important aspect of running a successful business?
- What do you think will be our biggest challenges?
- Do you have any ideas on how we can overcome these challenges?
- Do you have any other suggestions on how we can make the company successful?
- How will you generate revenue?
- How often will we review our progress?
- What are the consequences of breaching the agreement?
- Are you willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement?
- Do you have any legal issues that could affect our partnership?
- Do you have any skeletons in your closet that could come back to haunt us later?
- Are you willing to commit to this partnership for the long term?
Frequently Asked Questions
What qualities should you look for in a business partner?
When looking for a business partner, it is important to find someone who shares your values and has the same goals for the company. You should also look for someone who is competent, reliable, and has a good track record in business. It is also important that you are compatible with your potential partner both professionally and personally. If you can find all these qualities in one person, you have found a valuable business partner.
How much should a business partner get?
When it comes to splitting profits with a business partner, there is no set rule. However, it is important to make an agreement that is fair to both parties. Factors to consider include the amount of work each partner has done, the time they have invested, and the risks they have taken.
It’s also important to pay attention to what each partner brings to the table. For example, if a partner can invest more money, they may be entitled to a larger share of the profits. Ultimately, it’s important to negotiate in good faith and reach an agreement that works for both parties.
How can you protect yourself when you start a business with a partner?
If you are starting a business with a partner, you need to protect yourself by having a written agreement. This agreement should outline the roles and responsibilities of both parties, as well as how profits and losses will be shared. It’s also important to have an exit strategy in case things do not go well. By taking these precautions, you can help make your business partnership a success.
How do you evaluate a potential business partnership?
When evaluating a potential business partnership, it is important to consider several factors. Some key considerations include the potential partner’s experience and expertise, their business model and how it aligns with your own, and their financial stability. It is also important to assess how well you believe you will work together and whether the partnership has the potential to benefit both parties equally.
These are just a few of the many factors you should consider before starting a business with someone else. It’s important that you take the time to get to know the person both professionally and personally before making a decision. Once you’ve asked all of these questions and are confident in the answers, you can move forward with starting your business partnership!
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