Selecting a business partner can be difficult. You and your partner should both be financially and personally stable because you will rely on each other through difficult periods. You will need to find someone who respects you as much as you respect him or her. This mutual respect is perhaps the most important aspect to any successful business partnership. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the right match.

When you need a partner
Sometimes we might have great ideas for business ventures that simply cannot be carried out by one person. When we reach these points, we may need to enlist a business partner. There are many reasons why you might need a business partner. Your project might benefit from the contribution of their personalized skills, experiences or resources. Your project might also include a large financial investment that you couldn’t possibly carry on your own. Under these circumstances, it might be necessary to look around for another investor. But most people don’t simply like to throw their money at projects. Rightfully so, they will want a say in the operations of the enterprise.

Why you need to know yourself
The Ancient Greek aphorism “Know Thyself” is inscribed at Delphi’s Temple of Apollo, the Olympian deity of knowledge. You don’t need to worship Apollo or even have a fleeting interest in Greek mythology for this adage to apply to your business endeavor. You need to know yourself: your abilities and your limitations. If you are seeking a business partner, your potential associate should be similar to you in ambition and commitment but different from you in both field of knowledge and abilities. You are not looking to join with someone who is identical to you.  You want someone who can make up for your shortcomings. You need to know your own skills so that you don’t hire someone with the same traits. If you do, you may wind up disagreeing with each other over minutiae or stepping on each others’ toes, trying to carry a particular aspect of the project. Know your limits. Whatever needs to be done that you can’t do should be the most sought after trait in a business partner.

What to look for in a partner
Aside from a different specialized knowledge base and a different work history, you should find someone who shares other qualities with you. You want a business partner with the same values as you. It would be terrible if you got far along in your project to discover that you and your partner have fundamental ethical differences that bring your project to a halt. Possible disagreements over moral and decent business practices should be discussed upfront. The partner should demonstrate commitment to your goals. This point is worthy of discussion. Your partner can add goals or alter what you have already established to make it more beneficial for both of you. Collaboration shouldn’t be a zero-sum-game. You should seek to maximize the happiness and accomplishments of both. The partner should be self-motivated. There is nothing worse than picking up the slack for people who can’t find the enthusiasm to work themselves. Your partner should also be open to constructive criticism and so should you. Sometime the best ideas will come from you and other times they will come from the partner, if you choose him or her correctly. If you keep these tips in mind, you will be more likely to do so.