You’ve got a brilliant idea for a new company that you’re itching to start but you realize you can’t do it alone. For whatever reason—contacts, experience, financing, etc.—you’re looking for a co-founder to join you on your entrepreneurial journey. But there are two questions: what do you look for and how do you go about finding it?
What Do You Look For
What you look for in a co-founder depends largely on your personality. Sure, there are other things to consider such as the type of business you’re starting, but when it comes right down to it, your co-founder needs to be someone you like working with. A few of the qualities a great co-founder should have include:
- The ability to listen- and not just listen but to hear what you’re saying and what your goals are.
- The ability to work together- that means being able to set a common goal and then work in harmony to achieve it.
- Having different strengths and weakness- different from yours, that is. While you want someone who can get what you’re trying to do, you need someone that can bring their own unique abilities to the table in order to accomplish it.
- The ability to stay focused and calm- you really don’t want a co-founder that freaks out every time you hit a bump in the road. You also don’t want someone who runs off after every shiny new idea they’re presented with. Calm and focused are invaluable qualities.
- The ability to bring something to the table you lack- maybe you’ve got the capital but you lack the contacts or vice versa. Maybe you’re great with numbers but need someone to run the business. You want to find someone that compliments your own skill set and rounds out what your business will need.
How Do You Find Someone
There are a variety of angles from which this answer can be approached, but a list of promising resources is a good place to begin.
- LinkedIn- scrolling through profiles of individuals with some of the traits you’re looking for can give you a start. It’s also time-consuming and unless the person is looking for a new position or you have a contact to help you meet them, it can also be a bit like making cold-calls. Still it’s a large database at your disposal.
- Social media- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, pick your favorite. Any of these can provide you with a lead when you’re looking for a co-founder. Do you follow someone with ideas you already love? It can’t hurt to reach out via their social media platform.
- Network- you may already have a good-sized network you can turn to when you’re looking for business help. That same network can also provide you with leads on a potential co-founder. In fact, your co-founder may already be in your network and you don’t know it yet!
- Mastermind groups- these can expand your network and help you form relationships with other entrepreneurs across multiple fields. As you get to know those in your group, you may find someone who would make the perfect co-founder.
Regardless of how you find someone or what you’re looking for, a solid first step is to sit down and make a list. Include those things you don’t want as well as those things you do. While you’re not likely to get every single quality on your list, it’s a great way to gain some initial direction.