Critical Process of identifying the Right Co-founder

Would you spend the additional time it takes to find the perfect co-founder, resulting in a better balance sheet and a more robust skill set available to your team, or would you settle for just an alright candidate? Getting the right co-founder helps to generate ideas and give a business a competitive edge. Working on a startup alone can be difficult, but at the same time, what is the process to identify the right co-founder?

Alan Safahi, an executive who’s been in the Fintech space for over a decade, believes that two heads are better than one when it comes to business startups. There exists a need to have someone that shares the same burden of the business with the founder. Not only this, they both share ideas, risk, complement each other’s skills, and have the same aims and goals — having a co-founder offers the entrepreneur a diverse host of benefits.

Identifying a co-founder is not an easy task, and I hope that the tips below will help you make the right decision.

Alan Safahi reveals that it is essential to choose a co-founder with the same common ground as you. This common ground might not be a perfect similarity but might be a bit of the same work habit. This aids efficiency and allows for perfect communication for both parties. It is good to ensure that your co-founder is willing to put in as much energy as you put in and communicate in a similar style. Discuss your work habit and be honest with each other when you consider putting forces together.

A right co-founder should have the skills that the founder is lacking. The founder must try to identify his weakness and make sure that the co-founder chosen can work correctly in complementing the founder’s skillset. You want to ensure that you and your co-founder have different skills that can complement each other.

Alan Safahi agreed that skills are essential, but that should not take the place of character. You can learn a skill, but nothing can replace it with compatibility, trust, loyalty, and personality. Choose someone you like. Co-founder character and morals are often as important as their skills.

As much as you identify a co-founder with complementary skills, Alan Safahi suggests that it is also necessary for the founder to eventually learn the skills and have an idea of what the skills entail for better communication between the founder and co-founder.

How do you intend to get things done if you don’t communicate well with your co-founder? Each individual has a different mode, or process of communication. Some people prefer direct contact, while some might require communication through email. Others might prefer focusing on asking questions and getting around to the main point steadily. No communication style is terrible, though. Different communication styles, however, might not work well for startups, which are very volatile at the start.

The process of identifying the right co-founder is not an easy job; many factors need to be put in place before concluding. Consider having a co-founder that you trust, and one you have a level of mutual respect for. Remember, skills and networking alone will not save the business.

Alan Safahi is a serial entrepreneur with 30+ years of experience in the information technology, telecommunications and fintech segments.

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