Do you think that finding the right co-founder is harder than it looks? If so, you’re right.
Locating someone that shares your vision, ethics, complementary skill set and accountability isn’t a simple task. Can it be accomplished? Absolutely. But not without resolute effort on your part.
The first thing you should consider is this: “Bring Something With You. The potential co-founder can start any number of businesses without you, locked in his room, not having to deal with your stupid vision. What can you do for the company that your potential co-founder cannot?”
Before you hunt for a marketer, developer, designer, product pro, etc. take stock of your core competencies. It’s important that you are able to deliver value that is inaccessible to a co-founder. Once you’re aware of the value you bring to a business partnership, you’re ready to locate the perfect match.
If you’re ready to find a co-founder here are 5 simple steps to get started on immediately:
1. Start working on your idea asap
Don’t mull around an idea for decades as you wait for a co-founder to fall in your lap. Take simple daily steps to start your new business. No one, co-founders included, wants to haul aboard a stalled train with no destination. You’ll create and foster an environment of action and excitement as you take on the responsibility to demonstrate the momentum behind your vision.
2. Set a simple foundation
If you ask most of us, our startup situations weren’t always ideal. There’s always something that you perceive you’ll need more of — time, money, people, etc. But don’t let what you don’t have — hold you back.
There’s no viable excuse. If you want it. Go and get it.
In the 21st century you have what many that came before us did not. Access. For example, with limited technical knowledge you can create a launch page and order business cards within a week. Start where you are and eliminate excuses. Set the stage for prospective co-founders to take you seriously.
3. Draft an operational agreement
Yes. I know. Contracts aren’t sexy. But, it’s important to set expectations up-front. Verbal contracts aren’t worth the paper their written on. Draft a simple co-founder job description using examples of online job descriptions for the desired job function.
For example, if you need a marketer then research “Director of Marketing” or “Marketing Coordinator” job descriptions. With these two types of role descriptions you can gauge what’s needed on both the strategic and tactical ends. Later, funnel your learnings into an operating agreement. This agreement should outline how you will conduct business.
4. Pitch your network
Create an email that includes a brief teaser and share it with people in your network – and ask them to pass it along. Share concise information on your idea, but don’t share too much — instead, stir up a powerful marketing tool: word of mouth. Even if people in your direct network aren’t suitable or interested, they may know someone who’s been looking for the perfect startup co-founder too.
5. Widen your sphere of influence
If you’ve never attended a networking event, now is the perfect time to take the plunge. Armed with confidence, a launch site, and business cards you’re ready to build your sphere of influence.
Learn what others are doing, ask questions and then let them know that you’re looking for a co-founder. Successful people are connectors and more than willing to make introductions if you’ve put your best foot forward.
You can also start looking for a co-founder using online founder matching sites such as founder2be.com, cofound.org, builditwith.me and founderdating.com.
Remember, not every startup launches with co-founders. Essentially, it’s important to build a team with diverse skill sets to accomplish business goals. This can happen through outsourcing, hiring employees, contracting, joint ventures and bringing on partners.
Decide what scenario is the best for you and your business. And if partnering with a co-founder is the best path, then take action with the five simple steps mentioned above and you’re on your way.
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