Running a business is not easy to do on your own. You may be running the show but need stage setters and planners if your company is to succeed. You need someone who helps you run a business. A right-hand person to brace the storms with you. Finding someone to help you run a business is no small task. A business partner can make or break your company. They can drag you down with mediocrity or catapult you to success with their innovative idea. The catch? You got to pick right.
In this article, you’ll learn about ten things to look for in someone who helps you run a business. Getting someone with all the requisite traits is impractical, but aim as close as possible. Let’s dive into ten traits to look for in a business partner.
1. Find Someone You Can Rely On
The whole point of any business, whether a software company or dumpster rentals, is profit-making. So, it makes sense to focus on client list growth. However, many businesses often miss this goal because they have an unreliable team. If your team is not dependable, your customers will get hurt. Similarly, if you get an unreliable person to help you manage your business, you’ll pay the cost with your business.
That’s why you should look for reliability in someone who helps you run a business. So, what does it mean if someone is reliable? It means their word is their bond. It means they’re present to do what it takes without supervision. Reliability often shows up in simple habits such as punctuality and rapid response.
But it’s more than just showing up. It’s committing to the cause without external compulsion. According to Simon Timothy, a Forbes Agency Council member, it’s hard to scale without a reliable team. On the contrary, having a reliable partner will make it easier to scale even in areas you’re less familiar with as an entrepreneur.
2. Find someone Who’s Zealous About Your Business Idea
Don’t forget about passion. Everyone is passionate about something these days. It would help if you had someone who is zealous about your business. That’s why your right-hand person is more than an employee. They may be on the payroll but work for more than a salary. They understand your vision and are interested in making the dream work.
For example, say you have a business that installs call center phone systems. Someone who helps you run the business may not know how such systems work. Still, they bring value addition to the company, for example, by making business connections or establishing a marketing plan. They’re zealous to know more about the company and how to catapult it forward.
Since your partner might be in touch with your team more, you want someone who spreads passion and energy to the team, not someone who does the bare minimum. Yet zeal and passion without results may not benefit you. Zeal should translate to action and efficacy. One of the best ways to look for zeal is to ask; what is this person bringing to the table?
3. Pick Someone Who Compliments You
You should look for business and personality compatibility in someone who helps you run a business. In most relationships, including romantic ones, it’s tempting to look for someone similar to you in behavior and personality. If you have an upbeat personality, you may want someone equally gregarious. However, it would help if you had someone who could challenge your way of thinking and approaching issues.
You need someone who complements you. According to Marie Hartwell-Walker, a contributor at Psych Central, in healthy complementary relationships, one person’s behavior pattern fits into another. What one person lacks or isn’t familiar with, the other partner fits in with their personality and behavior.
Sometimes businesses thrive because of the correct balance of values that guide the business. For example, consider risk-taking. Every business must take risks, whether printers, equipment supplies, or a coffee shop. If you’re the kind of person who dives into risks and goes for the big kill, having a more reserved partner may help. They’ll keep you grounded, and a little bit of caution might help.
4. Don’t Forget to Look for Integrity
You could have the most skilled partner or right-hand person to walk with, but integrity isn’t a value you can compromise on, no matter how good a person is at business. The business world is increasingly growing aware of the need for people with integrity, right from the chief executive to the bookkeepers. You can train for skills, but it’s hard to train character into someone.
Yet, it’s easy to put on a show, especially when looking for a job or business partnership. How do you know if someone has integrity? Dr. Seth Meyers, a contributor at Psychology Today, gives some hints to look for in a person.
- Does this person highlight team members’ accomplishments while in some cases downplaying their own?
- Does this person apologize to people who are below them in position?
- Does this person put to an end vicious behavior such as name-calling even when they’re offended?
- How do they behave on the road? Are they aggressive and unkind? Do they hoot endlessly?
- Will this person apologize when they keep people waiting?
- Do they volunteer frequently and consistently even when it costs them money and time?
5. Look for a Highly Resilient Individual
Businesses are interesting entities that can take an unexpected direction when least expected. While retirement planning is important, you don’t want to have a right-hand person who thinks about an exit strategy after you hit the first obstacle. It would help if you had someone ready to stay even when things get rough.
Resilience goes beyond holding on to the rope and hoping it doesn’t break. A resilient individual innovates, adapts, and sometimes thrives during disruptions. For example, consider the COVID-19 pandemic. Some businesses were so affected they froze and failed. Yet some adapted by going digital. Someone who helps you run a business should have the mental strength to fight for survival.
A survey by McKinsey in September 2022 found that among the many concerns among U.S Consumers, inflation tops the list at 65%. Things might improve, but the person who helps you run a business should be ready for inflation and its impact on your business. Look for someone who’s not ready to put down their hands and give up.
6. Pick a Creative Individual
Similar to being resilient, someone who helps you run a business should be creative, preferably. It doesn’t mean they can sit for two hours and come up with a flowery sonnet or that they come to you with the newest disruptive technology. It means they’re open-minded, they explore the business world and pick solutions that could work for your business.
For example, they may help you understand how signs could improve your brand visibility or how a website could bring in more customers. Creativity and passion are related. When you’re passionate about something, you look for ways to solve problems and bring more value to customers. Since your time will be occupied in planning for the growth of your business, having a creative right-hand person will open you to new opportunities and ideas.
It would be best if you created a culture that supports creativity and innovation in your business. Every business could do with creativity, even if you own a pest control company. Allow your partner room to explore and try different ideas that could benefit the business.
7. Find a Proactive Partner
Someone who helps you run a business successfully is more than an employee. In many set-ups, you’ll have to tell employees what to do and when to do it. It’s best if your helper isn’t always waiting for instructions. It will help you as a business owner if you have just one person who can act positively towards the business without consulting you.
Proactive people aren’t necessarily born that way. They learn to pick situations that require an immediate response. Here are the top identifying traits of proactive people.
- Proactive people are curious and are always looking to add new and beneficial information
- They ask leading questions so they can gather more information
- Proactive people try to visualize the future by using the current information
- Proactive people try new ideas with the information they have
You may not need to stretch too far to find proactive people you can trust with your business. If you can get a reliable and proactive person, you have a suitable partner to walk with you hand in hand in business.
8. Pick Someone Who Can Foster Productive Relationships
One of the reasons you are probably looking for someone to help you run your business is that you acknowledge your limitations. You don’t have all the time or business networks. Someone who helps you run a business can benefit you significantly if they are relationships-savvy
For example, say you have a construction business. A helpful partner would have beneficial relationships with hardware stores and marketing companies and may even have a contact at a local electrician company. They provide relationships that would otherwise take you months or weeks to foster.
They don’t need to have everyone’s contact. Still, a willingness to expose your business to other business people, potential clients, and positive media is a big leap from running the business solo. Business partnerships remain a vital key to success in the corporate world. Therefore, if you can get someone capable of making beneficial business relationships, your business will do much better.
9. Find Someone You Can Resolve Conflicts
Conflicts are almost inevitable in any human relationship. Someone who helps you run a business is someone you interact with more than other team members. You’re likely to have business-related conflicts once in a while, whether you have a digital company with remote workers or a commercial welding business with everyone on the ground. Is this person someone who has mastered conflict resolution?
Whole countries have fallen apart because the different parties couldn’t resolve conflicts peacefully. Similarly, your business partnership can fall apart because of poor conflict resolution. If your helper tends to follow the troubling Triple A’s: apologizing, accepting, and accommodating, your business relationship will grow.
You might have to evaluate your partner’s conflict resilience as you foster the relationship. During the interview, evaluate how the person communicates points of difference in your approaches. Do they apologize for having a different opinion?
10. Only Pick Someone You Can Entrust the Business To
Finally, and probably something business owners miss, is having someone who can fill in their shoes if need be. Someone who helps you run a business has intimate knowledge about the business, your interests, and your company vision. Employees remain distant actors who can leave the company easily.
Your partner is the best person to carry your vision. Consider Apple Inc. Decades later, Steve Wozniak is still part of Apple long after Steve Jobs was no more. Even having an employee who’s part and parcel of the daily running of a business can prepare them to take up your role if, for some reason, you were unable to.
Some of the strongest and longest-lasting businesses have been sustained by empowering a helper to take up the daily running of the business. For example, an owner of an arborist company may have a family member help them run the business. That’s why you need to look for trustworthiness in the person who helps you run a business.
Few people can run a successful business alone. Even the most successful entrepreneurs have assistants, secretaries, and advisors. Successful entrepreneurs have someone who helps them run their businesses. If you’re looking for a righthand person to help you run your business, you need to look for someone with traits that help your business. Next time you’re looking for someone to help you run your business, consider the ten traits and aspects.