Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • UK
  1. Osome Blog Singapore
  2. Cofounders for Your Business: 4 Ways To Find Them

Cofounders for Your Business: 4 Ways To Find Them

You need two basic things when planning to start a business and set up a company: A competitive business idea and sufficient funds to get the ball rolling. Sometimes you need someone to either help you improve and execute your great idea or to help you raise the needed capital before setting up a company. That is where the need for a cofounder arises.

A co-founder is easy to come by. They can even be your family member or friend. But just because someone has the will and/or money to invest in your company doesn’t mean they can make a good company co-founder.

  1. Check for the Qualities of a Good Cofounder

It is your prerogative as the startup founder to list down the qualities that you will be gauging your potential cofounders against. To start you off, here are some of the qualities to be keen on:

  • The person(s) must bring to the table strengths that complement your weaknesses. If you are good in management but often struggle to appeal to your target market, for example, find someone with a track record in sales/marketing.
  • Your values and objectives should align with theirs so that even if everything else goes south, either at the company level or in the industry, your shared values will keep holding you together.
  • On top of bringing financial investment, your cofounder should share your drive, mission, and passion.
  • Speaking of disagreements, you can bet that you will have many of those along the way. Choose a co-founder who is flexible, creative, and open-minded when it comes to conflict resolution. Someone who sees disagreements as multiple good ideas competing to give birth to one greater idea.
  • Choose a cofounder who can adapt to the changing business environment. Someone who doesn’t sweat the small stuff when needed to make life-changing decisions.
  1. Ask the Right Questions

Start by testing the potential cofounder’s trustworthiness. You can ask:

  • Are there any conflicts of interest I should know of? You don’t want a cofounder who has ties with direct competitors.
  • Are you in any shady business dealings? Have you ever been convicted for stealing or being part of financial fraud? Any criminal record? Have you ever been declared bankrupt?
  • Are you open to relocating if it ever comes down to that? You don’t want a cofounder who will quit on you when your business outgrows your current market/location.
  • Work ethic: How many hours can you put in per day?

Next, assess their commitment by asking some of these questions:

  • Are you ready to go for months without a regular income? This is because many people come into business expecting to get 6 figure salaries as soon as the doors open, only to get frustrated when returns are too slow to come. Don’t go into business with someone who is banking on the business for this month’s rent.
  • Are you willing to give 100 percent every day, no matter what it takes? This is because you cannot afford to go into business with someone who jumps ship at the slightest inconvenience.
  • How much money are you willing to invest? When the profits start flowing, how much of your share would you be willing to plow back?
  • Are you coming to the partnership for ‘fun’? Because ‘fun’ is the last thing true entrepreneurs care for.

Lastly, assess their take on company culture. You need someone who will help you build a culture that doesn’t crumble under industry pressure. Some of the questions you can ask include:

  • What is the right way to treat and communicate with subordinates?
  • Who is your ideal employee? Do you believe in workplace trust and openness? Because they should. A team founded on trust and openness is a productive and motivated team.
  • Any big company you admire in terms of their culture? That will give you an idea of how they imagine your staff will/should be like.
  • What do you think we can do to attract, retain, and develop top talents? This person will be a top executive in the company and their input in HR management can make or break the company culture.
  1. Reconnect With Your Network or Go to Incubator Programs

The obvious source of a good cofounder: Reconnect with your network! Maybe there are people in your career networks, family, or people you went to school with who have the mindset, skillset, passion, and industry know-how that you’re hunting for. The good thing with starting a business with someone you’ve known for a long time is that you are less likely to be blindsided compared to when you cofound a business with total strangers.

If you are not crazy about working with people you already have relationships with, your best option would be incubator programs. Incubators are establishments that help startup entrepreneurs with everything they need to get started: Funding, office space, industry resources such as research, and mentorship- name them! Ambitious startup entrepreneurs converge in these organizations, so you will easily find a suitable co-founder from the crowd.

Another common platform for finding anything and anybody these days is social media. Just find the right social network for your industry and start pitching ideas to potential partners. If you are in finance or technology, for example, you can connect with prospective cofounders through LinkedIn. If you are in fashion, on the other hand, you will find thousands of startup entrepreneurs advertising their fashion items in Facebook groups and on Instagram feeds.

Note that finding a cofounder with the qualities we discussed earlier can take lots of your time. That is why you need to outsource some of your roles to independent entities. Instead of managing your human resources, for example, you can outsource HR services and administrative tasks to a professional employer organization (PEO). Those starting businesses in the UK can tap into the wealth of knowledge and support of a global PEO, allowing them to focus on finding the right cofounders to partner with.

  1. Make Everything Clear Before You Sign The Papers

Don’t sign the contract papers until you both agree who is the boss. Don’t just assume that being the founder gives you seniority over the cofounder. Make it clear from the onset that you are the CEO and dream carrier, and that the cofounder is only coming in as an assistant. That’s unless you are okay with them taking seniority, but even in that case, it is important to put the agreement down on paper. Agree on the decisions that the cofounder can make without consulting the founder, the decisions that the founder has to approve, and the decisions that the founder can make without answering the cofounder. Who fires or hires employees? Can the founder fire the cofounder, or vice versa, and under which circumstances? What is the equity split and is it even? Will your executive be a democracy or will the CEO be a dictator? Place all the cards on the table so that no partner is blindsided when signing the contract.

The Final Word

The success of your company will be determined by the success of the cofounder you bring on board. Take your time because rushing through decisions will get you the available cofounder and not the right cofounder.

Once you have the right person to start your business with, you can then proceed to incorporate your company. If you have further questions on shareholders when including a new business partner or any matters around corporate administration in Singapore, we can help you with that too. We’re all for people starting and running businesses. Good luck on your journey!

Share this post:

Tips to run your business smarter.
Delivered to you monthly.

You'll receive a verification email you'll have to open and confirm the subscription.

You might like it

E-commerce

When Should I Hire An Accountant For My E-commerce Store in Singapore?

Starting an online business is an exciting journey. According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, online retail sales made up 15.2% of the retail trade in September 2021.

E-commerce

How To Upsell to Your E-commerce Customers

We are inundated daily with countless ads throughout our day, both online and offline. As an e-commerce store retailer, one of the challenges that you may face is trying to get your products and message across to prospective customers.

E-commerce

Types of Business Models for E-commerce

If you are planning to start a new e-commerce business venture, this is the best time to do it! For seasoned business owners who are thinking of diversifying their business into e-commerce, you are at the right place.

E-commerce

An E-commerce’s Checklist To Prepare for 2021 Holiday Sales

Although the sales period will mean that your customers’ shopping carts will be busier, this also brings about its own set of challenges for your online business. Follow our holiday season checklist to ensure your business is well equipped for the shopper surge.

Accounting

What Important Records Must I Keep As A New Business Owner?

Good business record keeping is crucial, from managing costs for legal, regulatory or tax reasons to simply managing and improving your business. If you are just starting up your business, it might not be the first thing that comes to your mind, but it can help you build a strong foundation.

Running My Business

3 Things To Consider Before Renting Your First Office Space

If you have always been working from home for your small business and are contemplating moving to a bigger space to accommodate your staff and to have a central office location, you may be looking out for office spaces to rent.

E-commerce

Digital Payment Trends For E-commerce Sellers To Know

Today, consumers are switching from traditional payment methods, such as cash, cheque and cards to digital payment. The global pandemic has fuelled this unprecedented shift in the consumer’s behaviour.

E-commerce

Creating an Invoice When Selling on Amazon

This article helps Amazon sellers who are finding out how to create, access and share invoices on Amazon.

E-commerce

12 Ways To Drive More Traffic to Your Online Store

When your website is finally live, you want to share it with as many people as possible. How do you get people to your website and excited about your products and shop from your store?

Government Grant

Wage Support & Rental Relief for Businesses in Singapore’s Stabilisation Phase

Tighter COVID-19 restrictions will be implemented from 27 September to 21 November 2021. Find out what support SG companies can receive from this Stabilisation Phase.

E-commerce

A Design Guide for E-commerce Websites

If you’re looking to improve your e-commerce page and improve sales, you might want to learn the fundamentals of how to design a good website.

Entrepreneur's Bootcamp

Best Practice Invoicing Tips for SMEs

This article will help Singapore-based SMEs get to grips with the best invoicing practices. Take a look at the tips and how-tos to guide you toward being more streamlined and savvy.

Tips to run your business smarter. Delivered to you monthly.

You'll receive a verification email you'll have to open and confirm the subscription.

We’re using cookies! What does it mean?