Who is a Co-founder?
As the sole leader of your start-up, you would assume the title of a founder. A co-founder is a partner onboarded later to contribute to the start-up and share responsibilities.
Should Your Start-up Have a Co-founder?
Running a start-up can be an arduous and lonely process. It requires technical and personal skills and consistent running of your creative juices. These factors lead to frequent burnouts and inconsistency in efforts which may adversely affect your start-up in the long run. Therefore, having a co-founder for your start-up is an effective strategy to mitigate these risks.
We hear that two heads are better than one. Exemplified by the great entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Steve Jobs at Apple all had co-founders.
A co-founder helps compliment your skills or cover areas you find yourself lacking. They also serve as a confidant and a partner who understands the nuances of your business. They can foresee risks and strategize business plans from an insider perspective. They share similar values and help nurture your business alongside you.
Co-founders, if chosen wisely, may open doors for your start-up. Through leveraging their networks, you will have double the investors and expand outreach. You can determine what area of your start-up needs help, the creative aspect, the business side, or people management.
However, finding the right co-founder for your business is a critical step. You should do it thoroughly. According to the data, 14% of the start-ups fail because they were not the right team, and 7% fail due to disharmony between the team and the investors. The first step is to have a clear vision about what you want your partner to bring to the table and to align the expectation of both parties.
Below is a precise list of aspects you should look for when finding your ideal co-founder.
What To Look for In a Perfect Co-founder?
- Diverse Background
Today, consumers come from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The socio-political consciousness has evolved with the changing times. The service and products available in the market are now socially, environmentally, and politically conscious. In this scenario, it is viable to choose a co-founder from a diverse background who can offer distinct ideas and elevate the creative element, bringing nuances and context. Such a partner can contribute significantly to your business’s success. As a co-founder, you are not looking at a replica of yourself. They should be someone with a different skill set.
- Identify Strengths That You Are Looking For
Running a start-up requires creative, business, and technical skills. Often, there is one area where we lack and require additional support. If you identify your area of weakness, you can find expertise that aligns with your needs. You and the co-founder can collaborate and work in tandem, ensuring great success for your start-up.
- Shared Vision
Mutual values and vision are vital for compatibility. Running a start-up is not a simple business. Only the most resilient can power through and excel. It is crucial to choose a co-founder whose vision aligns with yours. Both parties should discuss in detail and be clear on how you want the business to grow. Conflicts arise when both partners don’t have a shared vision and expect contradictory outcomes from their efforts.
- Complimentary and Collaborative Mindset
Your co-founder is your confidant. They understand your vision, your driving force, and your long-term goals. It is critical to vet the personality and seek a partner who has a collaborative and complimentary mindset. Both partners should be able to play their relative strengths, diversify the leadership and be dependable without a power struggle.
- Maintaining the Partnership
A co-founder is foundational to how your start-up will operate and grow. A lot of time is invested in building this partnership and finding buoyancy in the relationship. You should seek a partner who is willing to maintain this relationship in the long term. A co-founder is someone you heavily depend on and share the burden with, there should be minimal turnout. It will contribute to the smooth and effective running of your start-up.
Where Should You Look for A Perfect Co-Founder?
Now that we know what to look for, you must be wondering where to find the ideal co-founder. Here is a vetted list of sources where you can find your potential candidate.
- Leverage Your Network
A co-founder is someone you can trust and whose personality you like. The first place to look at is your network. Have a clear job description, know exactly what you are looking for, and then look around you.
- Online Matchmaking Sites for Business Partners
Online matchmaking sites for business partners are a great way to find your ideal candidate from a global network. These online platforms have grown immensely over the past few years and have a rich pool of experts. It also allows you to access more people to choose from. Your ideal co-founder may be sitting in a different part of the world that you can now access through the online platform.
- Networking Events
Sometimes all it takes is to be at the right place at the right time. Networking events are a great platform to find people with shared interests and visions. At these events, you have a strong chance of bumping into your potential candidate.
- Social media
With COVID-19 and its subsequent lockdowns, consumption of social media has peaked. Finding your ideal candidate through social media platforms gives you the benefit of accessing a large pool of candidates and having a global outreach.