Choosing a co-founder

HerBusiness guide to choosing a co-founder for your startup

A perfect startup team will carry your business a mile further than the idea. Choosing a co-founder for your startup is important so you don’t want to let up.

Many entrepreneurs in Kenya struggle with the idea of choosing a co-founder. The result is that many thus choose to go it alone. This is not necessarily a bad thing but investors are more drawn to teams. Now, this is not a call to go randomly pick a business partner.

The process of picking out a business partner is as involving as deciding whether to be bound to a marriage. You need to know this person enough and share interest in this partnership. Keeping in mind how these two types of pair-bonding overlap, HerBusiness is going to guide you on how to pick the right type. Yes, there is a right type.

The right number

I’ve already presumed that there will only be 2 co-founders. Obviously, this isn’t true. There can be more than 2. Selection of a two-team partnership is not arbitrary though. Pair-bonding is the strongest form of companionship among people.

You can be a team of 3, 4 or whatever numbers you and your teammates fancy. But remember that “one man equals one problem.” Choosing a co-founder will involve compromising interests and balancing typical human politics. The more individuals are partners the more difficult it will be to get around all the disputes of partnerships.

Complementary skills

Platitude! We can’t help it if people repeatedly fail to follow good advice. Any mentor will encourage you to get a co-founder who complements you. This means someone who complements you on the startup aspects. It will help you define roles and avoid clashes regarding responsibility and accountability.

The most renowned model is the technical-business duality. If one is good on the technical bits; operations and products, the other should handle the business part. This includes sales, marketing among others.

Goals and values

Just like getting married, settling for less than you prefer is only going to end badly. When choosing a co-founder you should not compromise on values and goals. This is why you take that little bit of time to know him or her well.

When your goals and values align it will be far easier to weather the storms of running a startup. It will also be easy to plan the way forward for the business. Otherwise, you’ll pay a costly price having a partner who isn’t focused or interested in the business a few years down the road. Talk it out and write it down to avoid a “sell vs grow business conflict.”

When your startup is based on a strong team you on the road to succeeding. Fill out each other’s shortcomings and keep your visions coinciding.