“If you want your start-up to survive in this world today, you can’t be a one-man army; therefore, it is crucial for you and your business to find a suitable partner.”
On June 10th, the branding consulting firm PLTFRM and the start up media platform Xiouhui.com held the meet-up event “How to find the best business partner”, at PLTFRM Ground Floor Garden. Many industry experts, experienced CEOs and investors were invited to share their experiences.
During the event some of the guests, including HiCTO’s partner He Xuan and PLTFRM’s co-founder Qian Dejun, shared their opinions on looking for business partners you can work hand in glove with. We’d like to share some of their precious suggestions with our readers here.
Quit soon if your values don’t match
Why do we start a business with a partner in thefirst place? The decision is usually driven by our moral believes, our point-of-views and our values. The relationship we have with our businesspartner to some extent exceeds the relationship with our spouse.
We work together for long hours every day, especially in start-ups. If the partners’ opinions and values don’t match, the project itself becomes relatively pointless. Finding the right partner means that even if the market constantly evolves, and the project may undergo adjustments too, yet you will always have someone reliable to work with.
From my personal experience, if you have met someone who doesn’t share your same values, I suggest that you put an end to the project as soon as possible. Core values are the basis for all partnerships.
If you want to succeed in the long run, it is crucial to plan share allocation beforehand
When talking about partnership, there is no lack of stories about ‘once friends’ becoming ‘enemies’ because of the distributionof benefits. Therefore, it is crucial to plan for stock options, ownership allocation and quitting system at an early stage. These are the bases for a long-term partnership.
According to Meng Bing, CEO of Xishaoye, after the stock right agreement, it is substantial to establish the shared allocation at the set-up point of a business. However, many businesses here neglect it. What will your share be if you pull out tomorrow? What is the withdrawal price? It is important to put all these key points into writing.
This early set-up will make clear whether or not you and your partner can co-work in thelong run. With more clarity come fewer disputes. Otherwise, as your business gets bigger, you will have to deal with many headaches. The point of an allocation plan is to create a defined protocol everyone can follow.
When you meet a good partner, cultivate the relation as if in a marriage
It is not enough to just find a suitable partner, you still need to manage and cultivate the relationship as if in a marriage. Be true to your partner, make some compromises, and help each other when you face adversities.
Even when your partner fails to fulfill certain responsibilities, you need to keep your emotion to yourself and find a way to communicate with them. Instead of generating conflicts, choose to be supportive. As a partner, you must have abig heart.
Qian Dejun shared his own experience: “5 years ago, we started PLTFRM, a creative agency focusing on creating good brands. In the past few years, we have overcome many difficulties to achieve our current influence in the industry. I have to admit that we don’t always agree with each other within the team, though my partner and I always find ways to communicate and support each other, staying true to our values”.
To quote the renowned investor Xu Xiaoping, “On the way of entrepreneurship, there is more than just financial success. Partners, friends and the relationships you built together, they are allvaluable assets you have. They make your life what you are proud of living for”.