Should you start your new business by yourself? Or do you hire a co-founder to begin things with?
Even the most inventive minds might struggle to launch a new business. You may believe you have everything planned out when your company is still in its beginnings. But as soon as you begin bringing on new clients, searching for capital, appointing a team, and interacting with customers, you'll rapidly realize that every day, business owners deal with new challenges.
This is why many first-time business owners start out with a partner: they want to have assistance on hand in case of emergencies. Some founders rely on their spouse, brother, best friend, or roommate from college to help launch the business. However, other people aren't so confident about the partnership concept. You must agree on major decisions, share a common vision, and split earnings with a partner.
Others, though, are less certain about the idea of partnerships. Major choices must be mutually agreed upon, a shared vision must be shared, and income must be divided.
What About a Co-Founder? (Since Not Everyone Does;
Not all entrepreneurs require partners. According to a Crunchbase analysis, the typical entrepreneurial business with a successful exit has 1.78 founders. Consequently, slightly more than half of the successful enterprises were started by a single person. No one has grown Amazon as much as Jeff Bezos, who founded it on his own. However, the creators of numerous other well-known businesses, including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Twitter, also had partners.
That might be a smart move if you want to test the waters of entrepreneurship by yourself. In fact, several organizations, such as startups in content marketing, artisanal stores, tutoring companies, and design firms, frequently succeed with just one founder.
However, larger businesses probably require two parents. Co-founders at these businesses can assist in making difficult decisions, carrying the financial load, holding others accountable, and contributing fresh ideas. A new company's chances of success can be increased by two or more founders by utilizing completely distinct but complementary skill sets. Try to picture Wozniak without Jobs, Proctor without Gamble, or Ben without Jerry. That must be difficult. These well-known co-founders combined their networks and skills in such a way that their individual identities have mostly melded in the public's mind.
How about you? Would a co-founder be helpful? Think about the following options:
You could hire a co-founder if you don't have the resources to hire good staff.
You most likely need a co-founder if you don't already have an advisory board or the network to build one.
You will probably require a co-founder if you wish to market a technological product but lack the necessary industry knowledge.
Consider going it alone but employing a co-founder-level employee if you are essentially turning a hobby into a business or if you have a large amount of money to invest.
What should you do if you can't find a co-founder after reading those options and realising that you need one to help you launch a business?
You can hire one. Seriously.
How to Hire Your Own Co-Founder
Hiring a co-founder involves making huge decisions. The entire procedure may resemble getting married to a new business owner. You shouldn't rush into a corporate partnership in the same way that you wouldn't rush into a committed relationship, for instance. Prior to making a commitment to someone, take the time to get to know them well.
But how can you tell when the "right one" will appear? Once more, think about the connections to your own life. Most people in the US date various people. As they interact with and get to know new people during that process, they discover the type of person who best fits their company. They risk a long-term connection when the other person appears right. The couple may think about marriage as their relationship develops. In several other cultures, individuals depend on their parents or impartial matchmakers to connect them with compatible future partners. The couple will get married and start a family together if the interview goes well.
You should meet a lot of individuals as a small business owner to choose the kind of people you hire. But keep in mind that independent brokers can also be quite beneficial. When seeking a co-founder, consider some of these options:
Make your funnel's rim wider. As many people as you can, make contact with. While it may be tempting to keep your business concept to yourself and to only approach individuals you have already considered as potential co-founders, this strategy may leave you with a limited pool of candidates. You can also grow your network and spread the word about your startup to a bigger audience by incorporating more people in the process.
Lay the groundwork first by yourself. You have two options as a founder for everything: do it yourself or hire someone else to do it. You'll begin to understand the type of person you need as a co-founder if you lay the groundwork for your business yourself. Your own organizational leadership strengths and shortcomings will become clear, and you can then determine what skill set will be a good match to your own.
Publish a job description. Even though you may admire your spouse, closest friend, or brother, consider whether they have the skills and qualities you're looking for in a co-founder. They won't, for the most part. Therefore, just as you would for any other position within the organization, create a job description for this one as well. As you do this, get input from your employees, mentors, and reliable friends. When searching for a co-founder, use that job description as a metric.
Make use of social media. For business owners, LinkedIn maintains a comprehensive web resource. Mine it as if it were gold. There, meet folks. Interact with them online. Organize a live event in your city to meet some of these folks in person. Make as many sincere connections as you can both online and offline by doing whatever it takes. This will help you find possible board members, employees, consumers, investors, and cofounders.
Join an online business matchmaking service. StartupAgents and CoFoundersLab, for example, function like eHarmony for business owners. You can sign up for one of these websites that connect entrepreneurs and co-founders. When you see someone you like, swipe left!
Most importantly, take your time building a friendship. An option to test the partnership model and maybe turn them into an equity partner, later on, is to hire a co-founder-level employee.
What Factors Make a Good Co-Founder?
Your small business's culture, goods, and services will be shaped by your co-founder. Whom do you want to carry out such tasks?
You and your co-founder need to share some principles and ideals.
You must first have a common vision. Make sure the co-founder you are considering shares your vision for the business. According to James Cash Penney, the company's creator, "the best collaboration comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison."
Second, your core ideals must coincide. The essential principles of an organization govern how you conduct business, interact with clients, lead a team, and represent your firm. More important than sharing hobbies are shared basic beliefs. You and your co-founder may not share the same entrepreneurial interests—in fact, you probably shouldn't—but you should share the same underlying values that will guide the development of your business.
Additionally, you and your co-founder need to have compatible interests and skills.
Strong co-founders won't always concur with your views. They'll likely oppose many of the things you wish to attempt, in reality. That's great. Sharpening abilities, eliminating unnecessary activity, and ensuring that only the strongest ideas remain are all benefits of healthy conflict. Select a co-founder who understands when to support you and when to push your ideas hard. This person must be able to manage conflict diplomatically, maintain attention on the problems rather than the person, and maintain loyalty to the group.
Don’t be fooled by excitement. Take a drive. Even better, look for zeal. Your concept has the potential to excite anyone. This does not guarantee that they will remain by your side if you run out of cash to cover your bills or if your top client decides to work with someone else.
A motivated co-founder will stick by you, put in a lot of effort for the business, and persevere through challenging times. A passionate co-founder, however, will share your beliefs and level of dedication. More deeply rooted than passion or even motivation is zeal. It is devoted to transformation at any cost to the individual. Find someone who can assist you in realizing your vision.
Looking to Hire a Technical Co-Founder? Take These Three Things into Account.
It can be difficult to find a technical co-founder who is prepared to work for pure equity. The best technical talent can land salaried employment at a variety of huge, well-established organizations like Google or Facebook and is frequently quite pragmatic. These employees rarely choose to leave a safe position to work for a company with a high failure rate. Hiring technical skills as an employee is typically the sole choice for first-time startups.
So what should you take into account when recruiting a technical co-founder?
Can you show your value? What you can contribute to the team will also be important to a potential technical co-founder. According to Daniel Wu's article in HackerNoon, "to attract a technical co-founder, you should show that you are the connecting glue between them and the problem." You need to demonstrate that you can turn your concept into a workable solution by growing it from a vague idea. The next step is to pitch your idea. Can you accomplish that? Can you demonstrate more than just "I can manage the business side?"
Can you prove your ide1`as? Technical professionals frequently favor data-driven management strategies. Do you have evidence that your product idea will find a market and be successful there? By carrying out a little experiment on your own or gathering information from related businesses, you can safeguard that data. Regardless of how you approach the job, be sure to bring evidence that your solution will work.
Can you find the technical skills you need some other way? Think of innovative approaches that don't involve hiring a co-founder. Could you, for example, employ a technical mentor or assign the project to a third-party team? Creating a technical advisory board would be a good idea. Or ask a graduate of a Bootcamp or a student at the master's level to collaborate with you on a quick timeline?
The majority of businesses can benefit from having additional hands to perform the work, more minds to solve the problems, and more creative spirits to help the team get through the challenging periods, even though not every startup requires multiple founders. Consider the value of a co-founder if you think your startup would benefit from one. Is it appropriate for a friend or member of your family? Typically, the response will be negative. You must thus search elsewhere.
A collaboration that helps your company for many years can result from hiring the ideal co-founder through a structured process.