5 Traits to Look For in a Business Partner

Plenty of entrepreneurs on their journey toward owning and launching a business are deeply committed to seeing their business and goals succeed. More often than not, the road toward entrepreneurship is a solitary one, with many entrepreneurs choosing to go forward by doing things on their own.  

Starting your own business means plenty of hours, late nights, sacrifices into personal time, and at some point, carrying the weight alone may cause burnout. As your business grows, the need to bring in talented people with complementary skills isn’t only needed, but important.

This is especially true if you want to scale your business quickly. If you’re looking for a partner, here are five essential traits to look for in a partnership to propel your business to greater heights:  


“The most successful people I know are also the most reliable.” – Wayne Gerard Trotman 

Reliability means you can count on the people you call as partners. A successful business is dependent on many things. However, trust and reliability are at the forefront of these factors.

Reliable business partners also share passion and ambition. They challenge you and themselves by bringing in new ideas, skills, and solutions.  

The element of trust and reliability means that you and your partner can dedicate time and effort toward working through any situation together.  

When you’re on the lookout for a partner to help you handle the reins of business incorporation, consider evaluating their reliability. You can test their reliability by putting them to the task.

Do they deliver projects and any tasks on time like they said they would? Do they follow up with suppliers and contractors as agreed? Do they follow up with you when they say they will? Do they arrive for meetings on time? Do they look into issues and concerns with integrity?  

How they interact with these tasks will enable you to judge yourself if these interactions are meaningful and true. It allows you to spot any red flags before you make their partnership official.  

Complementary traits 

“The union of opposites, insofar as they are really complementary, always results in the most perfect harmony.”- Stefan Zweig 

A successful business partnership is a combination based on complementary traits. Apart from skill sets that are different from yours, a partner also has complementary traits beneficial for business growth. If you’re reserved, quiet, grounded, and prefer one-to-one interactions, then you might benefit from a more outspoken partner, enjoys the spotlight, and is gregarious. If you’re more business-inclined, then you might need a partner who has more technical skills.  

Personality and attitude that are complementary are what you’re looking for in a partner. Complementary personality traits impact the overall company leadership, and finding the right person includes finding a balance in the leadership equation. The right balance benefits both the business and the employees, permeating throughout the organization.  

Finding a partner that challenges you 

“Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.” – Roy T. Bennett 

A business partner also needs to challenge you to keep the business moving forward, and keep the business rife with ideas and solutions to keep it successful. In the world of business, not every day is going to be a walk in the park.

When you hit a stumbling block, when the going gets tough, when there are problems and issues, and when you feel uninspired or burned out, you’ll need someone to push you and reignite the entrepreneurial fire in you.  

A business partner who’s eager to try a different approach, who comes up with creative ways of thinking and finding solutions, is ultimately valuable and stronger. Both of you have passion, and both of you want to make well-rounded decisions for the company, so challenging each other’s way of thinking will help identify thought processes and solutions in different ways.  

Find a partner that prioritizes compatibility.  

“Together, we form a necessary paradox; not a senseless contradiction.” – Criss Jami 

A partner needs to have the same vision for the future of the company. A business partner that doesn’t share the same vision and goals will ground the business in no time. Completely incompatible end goals will ruin the business.

For instance, you want to scale and grow at a measured rate, but your business partner wants to scale quickly and sell. How is this beneficial for the company? 

While a successful partnership needs to be one that challenges each other’s opinions, there will always be that common goal that brings both partners together, and that’s the outcome of the business, that same shared vision. This vision and goal need to be the same, even if the solutions and ideas suggested are out of the box.  

An incompatible vision will also make it harder for partners to weather hard times. Let’s say market prices have crashed for a certain commodity. You want to pull through and offer your target audience a solution despite the difficult times, but your partner just wants to throw in the towel, declare bankruptcy, and divide whatever profits. Both of you have different end goals that aren’t beneficial to the survival of the business.  

A business partner you’re compatible with will enable you to work together to overcome challenges that crop up. It also ensures perseverance and sustained integrity.  

Partner with someone who matches your level of obsession. 

 “Good requires motivation, great requires obsession.”- M. Cobanli 

We want passionate employees, but we need obsessive business partners – partners who have the same level of thirst for business success. It’s the kind of passion that’s needed to go through the long haul.

If you’re in the office burning the midnight oil trying to come up with the next best solution, then you want your business partner to be there with you and be as obsessive about this venture as you are. Passion generates short-term results, but obsession builds a lasting empire. 

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