The business landscape is populated with partnerships – some that are successful and others that have turned out unfruitful. If you want to open up for a partnership, here’s what to keep in mind: there’s no standard right or wrong way to find a business partner. There are just a few tested and true guidelines that will often land you a viable partner.

Depending on how well the partnership is conducted, you can always build a successful business out of it. Here’s some help.

Determine your reasons for wanting a partner

Anyone with all needed resources would want to move full force forward to implement whatever business ideas they have on their own. But most of the time, you lack something that another person has. So you approach them to work together.

Why do you need a partner in the first place? Is there a skill gap in your venture that there’s someone who could fill up? Or do you have insufficient capital to roll out a particular investment and there’s someone with the financial background to help bring your idea to fruition?

While some people prefer to obtain funding from sources such as FAM to start their businesses solo, others prefer to partner with venture capitalists and launch grand businesses. Whatever the case, the reason for wanting a partner is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. You’ll always have your own unique reasons for wanting to work with a business partner and that’s what will determine your best choice of partner.

Develop a criteria for evaluating your partner’s potential

A business partner should be able to bring something to the table – something you don’t have. Be sure to do a background check on them and evaluate not just their potential as a person, but their dedication to the business at hand.

Looking at where the person is in his or her career and life will generally provide you with useful insights about them. What’s their history? Is he or her the type of person who starts something today and quits tomorrow. That wouldn’t make for a great partner.

Caveat: Partnerships generally have operating agreements, but that’s not enough. Be sure to cover what happens in the event that you want out as you enter the partnership. As a business, you must always prepare for the worst–case scenario.

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