Choosing a business partner is kind of like choosing a significant other.
You need someone who shares the same level of commitment as you. You need someone you feel like you can trust. You need someone who has the same values as you.
And the hard truth is this: not every friend (no matter how close you are to them) has potential to become a good business partner.
Think about the relationships on the popular TV show Friends for a second. Specifically, consider the relationship between Ross and Rachel and the relationship between Chandler and Monica.
Would both of these pairs make good business partners? Which pair would be more likely to build a successful company together?
Let’s figure out the answer to these questions together. Along the way, you’ll learn a few tips to help you choose the best business partner for your next endeavor.
Ross and Rachel
Ah, Ross and Rachel – their relationship was passionate and iconic, but it was also full of drama.
Not only that – they seemed to fall in and out of love with each other randomly. And, they weren’t the best at communicating clearly with one another… Yikes! That’s pretty much the opposite of what a relationship with a business partner should look like.
Here are a few “Don’ts” when it comes to choosing a business partner that you can learn from Ross and Rachel:
- Direct communication is critical – When you’re starting a business, you don’t need someone around who you can’t communicate with easily and clearly. A major misunderstanding like the “on a break” one Ross and Rachel went through could be devastating for your company.
- Stability is a must – You can’t afford to choose a business partner who “falls in and out of love” with the idea of working with you. You need someone stable and committed, or your business won’t survive tough times.
- Avoid unnecessary drama – Starting a business is no easy task, so you don’t need any added drama. Choose a business partner who has your best interests at heart – someone who won’t cause unnecessary drama and make things even more difficult for you.
If I had to guess, I’d say that Ross and Rachel would fail miserably at owning a business together. (Maybe instead, they could spend that time figuring out if they were really “on a break!”)
Chandler and Monica
Chandler and Monica had their issues from time to time, but they ultimately had a strong relationship that developed steadily from their unshakable friendship. While their personalities were vastly different (the motivated neat freak vs. the laid-back jokester), they always seemed to complement each other and sustain a healthy relationship.
Here are a few “Do’s” when it comes to choosing a business partner learned from Chandler and Monica:
- Find someone you can trust – Business partnerships, like relationships, require trust to survive. If you don’t think you can trust your potential business partner with the well-being of your company, you should choose a different person.
- Find someone whose strengths complement yours – Monica and Chandler coexist happily because they have different strengths but similar values. You should look for the same in a business partner. If there’s an aspect of business that you’re really not good at, it’s always good to have someone around who can handle it for you and provide balance.
- Find someone who will stick it out with you – Starting your own business is no easy task, and it’s even more difficult if you suddenly lose your business partner. You need to make sure your business partner will stand by your side – even when times get tough.
I’d be willing to bet that Chandler and Monica would be able to start and run a business together as partners. Their undying commitment to one another, trusting relationship, and ability to communicate with one another would give them a good shot at getting through even the most trying times.