Questions to ask yourself when choosing a co-founder

Do you know that 65% of businesses fail because of co-founder conflicts? Deciding who will be your co-founder is your most important decision as a founder; it can make or break your business.

Taking your time before settling on someone as your co-founder is crucial. It will enable you to understand your prospective business partner better before you make up your mind.

Most founders who fail to exercise due diligence move in with a co-founder intending to establish a good work ethic and form a formidable bond, only to settle for someone unsuitable for their vision. So conduct research, sit with your prospective partner, and ask them questions to establish if you’re a match.

In this article, we’ll look into the 5 questions to ask yourself when choosing a co-founder. But before that, let’s first understand why you should choose the right co-founder.

Why you should choose a co-founder

When you pick the right candidate as your co-founder, you reward yourself with countless benefits. They include;

  • You are more likely to secure funding from VCs since most investors prefer to cut their risks while maximizing their returns. With the right co-founder, your level of expertise increases, de-risking your business venture and making it attractive to investors.
  • They offer good administration support by streamlining the company’s needs, objectives, vision, and values.
  • They offer good emotional support when the company is facing overwhelming challenges; this is important as it enables you to carry out your duties more calmly with someone by your side.

With such advantages, you should probably consider choosing a co-founder worth sharing every moment with, as they will be like your second spouse.

Now that you’ve known why you need a fantastic co-founder, let’s look at the questions you should ask when choosing the perfect co-founder.

Five questions to ask yourself when choosing a co-founder

Choosing a co-founder who will be good for your business shouldn’t be such a daunting experience. The following questions will guide you in picking a co-founder for your business.

1.     Is the person curious?

Multiple appointments and event organizations with your prospective co-founder can gauge if they’re curious about solving problems. Be careful not to settle for someone who wants the co-founding role to get out of employment or for show-off purposes. You want someone who is always interested in finding solutions to your customer’s needs.

You can gauge your co-founder’s curiosity based on the following merits;

·        Shared interest

You will likely grow and flourish in your business if you select a co-founder with a shared passion. Passion glues you together through difficult moments when you’re looking to find solutions to burning issues or break even in your industry.

When you work with a co-founder with the same passion as yours, problem-solving becomes easy. You will be able to tackle difficulties with simple, effective solutions. Additionally, it will give you a holistic view of your problem, enabling you to come up with solutions that encompass every aspect of your problem.

·        Their energy

Nobody wants a dull person for a co-founder. Even if they are introverts, they should be able to channel out energy that inspires and motivates you and your employees. Imagine having a co-founder who’s dull in answering telephones or dully responds to your mailbox. Wouldn’t that put off clients?

Having the right energy also helps you to reach a consensus on a problem faster and more effectively.

2.     What’s your chemistry with the person?

Co-founders represent you and your company wherever they are. Choosing a co-founder whose character is likeable by you, your employees, and your clients is imperative. You can arrive at this decision by considering the following;

·        Are they compatible with you?

For your business’s long-term success, always consider someone compatible with you. You can do this by assessing how you hold conversations and how they react to different situations.

The best compatibility test is confronting them with challenging situations to see their emotional intelligence. It can be working together on a side hustle under high pressure; this will help gauge your combined productivity. If they crack, they aren’t worth your salt, but if they deliver, you’ve got yourself a worthy co-founder.

Also, check how they complement your grey areas. You should have a symbiotic relationship with them. But don’t choose a co-founder purely on their skill set, like diary management. Gauge them with a role that will test their skillset (diary management) and other attributes, such as a virtual assistant.

·        How authentic are they?

Picking a co-founder who is true to your course regardless of circumstance is paramount. It will go a long way in shaping your company’s culture and values into something you desire.

They should also be sincere and transparent with you. A business built on trust can easily withstand withering storms and create a favourable working environment.

3.     Does the person attract and retain talent?

Developing a business is a teamwork effort. Without a well-structured team, you’re doomed. Therefore, your co-founder should be able to attract, train and retain personnel to meet your business objectives.

When choosing a co-founder, go for someone charismatic. Their personality should be inspiring to your team to enhance productivity. To get a clear picture of your co-founder’s personality, strive to know their track record and whether or not people are excited to work with them.

4.     What are their soft skills?

Soft skills are essential in any business. Your co-founder should have an array of soft skills that complement yours. In the eyes of investors, this is crucial as it de-risks your business. An extensive soft skills pool acts as a safety net for your company.

In addition, diversifying your soft skills makes investors more likely to invest in your business as it shows a combined effort of interest and commitment.

5.     Are they willing to move?

A prospective co-founder hesitant about your business plan is a red flag for the company. It can be as simple as making necessary travel arrangements or having a registered address that requires them to move.

Most startup companies require founders to move in together. It is a move intended to cut costs and give you room to interact with each other and work on your project together, leading to better teamwork. If your prospective partner is not ready to compromise on moving, you have no business working with them.

Wrapping up

Your business is like your second marriage. As such, you should look for a co-founder worth spending every minute with. A partner you’re excited to have candid conversations about your business and brainstorm lasting solutions to your challenges!

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