“You can go fast alone, but with two, you can go further.”
Start-up is not a one-way road. It is not all about perfecting your idea but more of building the right foundation – having the right co-founder, having the right team.
Our society puts a premium on success, achievement, and innovation. This drove the experts in leadership and organisational communication to study healthy practices in teams to cultivate creativity and productivity. Young entrepreneurs are now too focused on crafting and building their ideas, falling prey to overlooking the importance of having the right people.
If you are planning to start a business, or relaunching a brand with one or a team of con-founders, this article will guide you in knowing the right fit!
What is a co-founder?
A co-founder is a person or two who will build your company with you. They are your partners, your first core team. You will share most of the big and small wins, including the worst mistakes, of the company with them. Most importantly, a co-founder is able to see the potential of your start-up even at the most pivotal stages of your company’s growth.
Before jumping into hiring a perfect co-founder, start by asking yourself first, “What are my strengths and weaknesses?”, “How do these contribute and advance my vision for the company?”, “What are the skills and character that I envision my team to have?”. This way, you can assess the kind of co-founder that you want to have. Know what will complement these characteristics that you have.
If you can answer those, then you’re off to finding the right co-founder! And here are five things you need to keep in mind.
Have a list of Leadership Skills
The 5C’s of Leadership is a common concept among organisations when it comes to building a team. Experts say that when looking for a new member of the team, more so, a co-founder, the following are the core areas that you need to check first:
- Character: It is still best to team-up with a set of people who resonate with your values and beliefs. Most that comes out of a person, flows from their character.
- Competence: They must be on the top of what they do. You have to make sure that they possess the depth and breadth of their field. It will add to the confidence of the team in navigating and executing your vision. It is easier to improve and level-up a skill set when you know they have already mastery over their expertise.
- Chemistry: You will build your team and your company, side by side, with your co-founder. So, it is equally important that they also value people and relationships. If your strengths rely on administration and less on people, then it is a perfect fit to have people who have the charisma to create coalitions. They can connect to an extensive and diverse group of people creating a wider network. Remember, you are not just building a team but a community where people can grow and thrive.
- Commitment: For skill and passion to work out, it must be coupled with a sense of responsibility and discipline. Look for a co-founder that is able to deliver the tasks at hand without losing sight of the company’s vision. Able to do things now, but always thinks and be two steps ahead.
- Communication: Effective people are mostly dynamic communicators who can cast their vision with clarity and exude contagious passion. This is not simply about persuasiveness but also the ability to listen and understand people. Influencers grow because they are teachable and open to learn from others.
Start Where You Are
Starting or revamping a business or company with a co-founder is not simply a matter of work but of relationship. Co-founding is a matter of TRUST. Looking at the most successful companies like Facebook and Google, the founders were college friends, workmates, or teammates. We can see that building a business with someone also requires a connection relationally. So, before going out in the world looking for the best men, why not ask your closest friend or those who share the common interest with you, or worked with you in the past?
Attend Networking Events
If none of your intimate circle seems to click, it is a good investment to attend business or tech meetups, conferences and pitch competitions. Aside from building your network and becoming a part of a community of your niche, you are also placed in a strategic position where you can look for the right person or people to build your company or business.
Along with the conventional way of searching, you can also search through social media. It now offers limitless possibilities of connecting to influencers and experts in the field. You access and verify a person’s skills and character through credible platforms and social groups. You can learn from other people through forums and websites that share their experiences with co-founding with a person or a team. This is also helpful if you do not have a network of professionals. Numerous applications will do the matchmaking and negotiations for you.
In addition, you can also start your own blog or build your own website where you can openly talk about your vision and mission, the team you are trying to build, and the skill sets that you have listed for a co-founder. Those who are interested can easily see and contact you.
- Have Community of Advisors
You can also build a network of advisors who can guide you in finding the right co-founder. Having a personal interaction with experts is still most preferred. They can introduce you to the right connections and even vouch for probable candidates.
Choosing the right co-founder is tedious and crucial. Finding the right one is like achieving half of the success and growth you are aiming for, however, failing at it could cause a negative downfall on your business or company. Do not rush into turning your ideas into reality, compromising your need for a good team. Remember, building a good foundation will give you higher chances of success.