Entrepreneurs don’t realize they have a problem until it is too late.
No one does everything well. Some entrepreneurs have great business ideas, but they don’t know the product or service and lack business skills. Other entrepreneurs have great business skills but don’t understand how to build the product or service. I share my “Fresh Eyes” process to assess your needs, advise ways to find the proper partner, and share my experience. This post points you in a useful direction.
Ask these questions:
- What am I good at?
- What other skillsets does the team have?
- What skillsets are we missing?
- What problems do we have now?
- What problems can we expect in the future?
- Do you need additional capital?
- What type of personality will best work with you and the organization?
The answers to these questions lead you to a description of the type of individual and skillsets needed.
How I found my partner:
I founded American Sports Company, which became the largest shoe contractor, in the Dominican Republic. The first year was spent supplying product to our factories in the USA and Puerto Rico. I quickly realized that, I would have a problem growing the business without additional customers. I asked myself the 7 questions and came up with a partner description. The ideal partner was a sales oriented person with industry experience, who had owned his own business, knew the top industry players and whom I could trust.
Where to find a partner:
- Your Network
- Board of Directors or Board of Advisors
- M&A or Venture Firms
- Internet or Job Posting Sites
- Search Firms
The best resource: is always your own network. I found Bob through my network. Bob was a friend, owned his own business and someone who I could trust. We made a great team and spent 20 years successfully growing the business together. Extra advice: Always do your homework as you would on any strategic new hire, it can make the difference between success and failure.
What other questions would you add? Why?
How did you find your partner?
P.S. – Do you need an Outside Director, Advisory Board Member, Trusted Advisor, or Interim CEO? Someone who can help you see your business and your goals through “Fresh Eyes.” Contact me and I will work with you to look at where you want to go and help you find the best way to get there. Sometimes all it takes is someone with a fresh viewpoint, unencumbered by company politics or culture to help find the right solution.
Thanks for sharing your experience on qualifying partners.