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Choose The Right Co Founder

How to Choose the Right Co-founder for Your New Startup (5 Great Ways)

Joshua Julien Brouard

Joshua Julien Brouard

16 August 20233 min read

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Choose the right co-founder

Want to choose the right co-founder for your startup? Well, ideally, you'd want a potential co-founder that:

  1. has fresh and innovative ideas
  2. supports our vision
  3. puts a lot of time and effort into the business

But finding someone like this is tricky.

That's why we've decided to guide you in choosing the right business partners for your small business. 

Don't be a solo founder: expand your business.

Let's get started in helping you decide on this paramount business relationship:

Point 1: be honest with yourself

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. 

Startup founders, as much as they should get along, must also complement each other

Selecting the right startup co-founder for your startup begins with a bit of introspection.

Be honest with yourself: where do you fall short? Are you more of a visionary "ideas-man" and less of a practical and down-to-earth "action-orientated" type (the "technical" co-founder)?

Having co-founders with complementary skills is always a good idea. Everyone's personality is different. 

Point 2: discuss finances

We understand that finances are a touchy subject for most of us, but if you're going to be working with someone, you'll have to be transparent with them. This means that, as the business owner, you should go over the company's entire history.

It also means setting expectations for:

  1. how they’re to contribute
  2. what you're currently putting into the business
  3. what your goals are.

It also means being transparent about your financial circumstances

Potential co-founders should ideally be in a similar financial situation as you to share contributions and expectations equally (if there are any). Early-stage startups fail often, so co-founders should be prepared to contribute as needed.

Point 3: trust your gut

When choosing a co-founder for your own startup, you should (usually) trust your gut. That's not to say that your "gut" can't be wrong sometimes. It's just that a good co-founder relationship is significant.

The idea is this:

Sometimes we can intuit something about someone (based on prior learning and experience) that we may not intellectually register yet, but that is nevertheless true.

Co-founder relationships are built on trust, so if you're starting with a bad gut feeling, you're beginning on a poor precedent.

Point 4: observe for emotional intelligence

An emotionally intelligent co-founder is typically a great one.

The thing is, while knowledge can be gained, emotional literacy is often hard-found. And when someone is set in their ways, it can be hard for them to change.

The answer is apparent in a show-off between a highly knowledgeable and a slightly less knowledgeable but extremely emotionally literate co-founder.

Point 5: assess compatibility

Assessing the compatibility of your founding team is paramount. Not everyone works well together. And while you might think that you can keep a "professional face" in a long-term business relationship, it may falter at one point or another.

Like a marriage, compatibility between business partners is essential. 

Point 6: Be patient

Just as Rome was not built in a day, you’ll not find the ideal co-founder within a short period. Sometimes it may take many meetings until you find the business partner who you feel is the best fit. So don't rush it; don't choose the first person you meet. Finding the right person takes time.


FAQs

What are the three main reasons you should want a co-founder?

A co-founder can offer a complementary skillset to your business. In addition, running a business can be an extremely stressful affair. Having someone you can share challenges and ideas with is incredibly helpful. Finally, having a co-founder means your business will run much more efficiently as the workload can be distributed.

How much equity should I give my co-founder?

The allocation of equity should reflect the value the co-founder will likely bring to the table. Should the contributions be relatively equal, the equity should also be so. 

How do you decide which co-founder is the CEO?

Deciding who is CEO is vital. The CEO should be a partner that is sociable and engaging. This is because they have a role in public relations and need to be able to navigate public affairs effectively. 

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Joshua J. Brouard has a diverse background. He has studied bachelor of commerce with a major in law, completed SEO and digital marketing certifications, and has years of experience in content marketing. Skilled in a wide range of topics, he's a versatile and knowledgeable writer.