Pros and Cons of Having a Startup Co-Founder
Picking a co-founder is the most important decision you will make when launching your own business
An idea of launching your own startup can be very appealing at first. However, when the first problems arise and be sure it won’t take you much time to face them, every entrepreneur starts thinking of finding a co-founder.
If you hesitate whether you need a co-founder or not, remember that almost any startup hasn’t been launched by a single person. Of course, the necessity of the second or the third person on the board highly depends on the kind of business you have, as well as on your personal preferences.
Here we’ll just try to show you what are the advantages and disadvantages of having a co-founder.
So, let’s consider the positive sides, first of all.
Even if you are a highly talented businessman with a revolutionary idea, you won’t avoid troubles and failures. And in such situation, the only person that can really understand your concerns is your co-founders. Because, he or she, just like you has put not only their money into this business, but also their time and lots of efforts. No doubts, that you can share your problems with the friends or your spouse. But the point is that they won’t be able to advise something and totally understand you.
#2: Easy fundraising
Most of the venture capitalists confess that they prefer to invest their money not in a single player but in the idea that has a solid and trusted team. Why? The answer is simple. If you couldn’t find another person that could get inspired by your idea, how can you attract the others?
#3: Complement your skillset
There hardly exists a person that can be an expert in every sphere: marketing, coding, sales, etc. Unless you are a multi-talented genius, you’ll definitely need someone to help you.
On the other hand, to hire a qualified staff is money consuming and requires a lot of time to cover all the missing positions. But, if you're lucky, you’ll find everything that you lack in your co-founder. Ideally, that will be the person who will have the necessary skillset, will be ready to put his money into the business and work not 9-to-5, like the most employees do, but as much as it’s required.
#4: Carefully thought decisions
Just like an old proverb says: Two heads are better than one when you need to make a hard decision, you’ll definitely need an advice. Besides, you’ll need a person that won’t take all your idea for granted, but will think critically and be able to bring something new and useful to the plate.
The most important thing is that your co-founder shouldn’t have totally the same vision and the same point of view on the problem. In that case, he’s, actually, useless. But, on the contrary, that must be a person who can argue with you, find the solutions from the other perspectives and sometimes persist on his ideas.
#5: Share the responsibilities
Launching your own business is extremely time consuming and sometimes it requires from you to work 24/7. However, even with such a timetable, you may not be able to solve all the problems. Imagine that you’re having a business meeting with a potential client or an investor and at the same time, you learn that you’ve got some troubles at the office that need to be solved immediately. What shall you do? Leave everything and go to the office, thus losing the investor. Or, stay at the meeting, realizing that at this very moment everything might be destroying? That’s just one of the examples that show how important it is to have a co-founder, a person whom you can trust, and who will be able to deal with any kind of the problems.
Well, if by this time you’ve already come to a conclusion that you need to have a co-founder, then the next question that might have come to your mind is: Where to find him or her?
There are several ways. First of all, look closely to your friends and acquaintances. That will definitely be much easier for you to trust the person that you have known for some time. But, in the case, if you couldn’t find the necessary man among your friends than you can go to the various on-line platforms (to find more about the online platforms for finding a co-founder, we advise you to look through the article 6 Websites to find a co-founder for your startup). Another, but yet effective way to find a co-founder is just to look for them in professional social networks, like LinkedIn, for instance.
So, no doubts, that having a co-founder is great but, for sure, for every plus, there is a minus. Now let’s consider the possible problems that you may face while working with a co-founder.
#1: Different views on the work process
That’s fine if you and your co-founder have different thoughts on some aspects. However, when you are totally on different wavelengths and aren’t able to find a compromise that might be a problem. Inability to reach the common decision and lots of debates can ruin any business. In that case, you’d better separate as soon as possible in order to avoid even more troubles and disappointments in future.
#2: Work inequities
When you are working on the work of all your life, you expect that all the others will do the some. That’s why there can be the situations when you think that you are working harder than your partner and put more strengths and efforts. In order to avoid such problems, you should outline the scope of the responsibilities for every co-founder at the very beginning of your common work. Make sure that all the duties are divided equally and are clear for everyone.
#3: Co-founders aren’t required all the time
The truth is that you won’t need your co-founder every day. Let’s consider a technical co-founder, for example. If your startup isn’t connected that much with the technologies, you’ll hardly have enough work for a technical guy to keep him busy. For sure, at the initial stage, the things will be hard and you’ll require a lot of help. But think critically, is it really necessary to find a permanent co-founder or the variant of hiring a freelancer for a while is much more preferable for you.
All in all, it’s only your personal choice to find a co-founder or remain the only person in the business. In most cases, it will depend either on the type of business you have, your goals and your wishes.
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