The association has many advantages: potentially increasing the starting capital, breaking the loneliness of the entrepreneur, diversifying the skills of some, filling in the gaps of others and vice versa.
Creating with two or more partners is also a risky bet, because a team of co-founders who do not get along is one of the main causes of failure. ” The choice of associates is the most important decision for an entrepreneur », Warns Alexandre Dana, co-founder of LiveMentor. Better not be wrong.
Often, a project leader is tempted to associate with people around him, whom he knows well or who have followed the same studies. This is understandable, because partnering involves trust to the other. ” However, it is absolutely necessary to seek complementarity, recalls Valentin Brulin, president of Cofondateur.fr, a platform for connecting future partners. This is even one of the main reasons for the association: an entrepreneur cannot have all the skills on his own. He must surround himself. “
A business profile will benefit from being associated with a tech profile, especially if the nature of the project requires it. ” This complementarity is not only a question of skills, it is also cognitive, continues Valentin Brulin. You have to go find people who do not think exactly the same and will be able to challenge the project. “
To find associates outside his universe, many platforms exist: Co-founder.fr, Biznessful, PartnPro, etc. It is also possible to post an ad on professional networks or media such as LinkedIn and Les Echos Entrepreneurs or to meet candidates for the association in physics, during a meetup for example.
Share the same vision
Please note, complementarity does not mean a strict difference. Future associates must ensure that they have common values and goals to avoid any risk of disagreement. ” From the outset, you have to ask yourself several questions, advises Alexandre Dana. What are you most proud of ? What made you happy ? What motivates you to start your business ? Who are your professional models ? How far are you willing to go to be successful ? “
The goal: to identify what are the ambitions and motivations of the other to verify that the future partners will share the same vision. ” It’s important to be transparent and honest », Adds Alexandre Dana. And don’t be afraid to say too much. ” Often, we are afraid of having the idea stolen, but it is enough to reveal only 80% of your project and to protect yourself with a confidentiality charter. », Continues Valentin Brulin.
Learning to know each other
Once these points have been resolved, one fundamental detail remains: ensure the right “fit”. It is not enough to correspond on paper, it is also necessary that the relationship match on a daily basis. ” The association is like a professional marriage: we do not commit ourselves unless we know the other well. “, Warns Valentin Brulin, who recommends a trial period of 3 to 6 months to learn how to function and work with others.
” You have to invest time in getting to know each other “Advocates Alexandre Dana. A principle that does not stop with the partners and also applies to the first employees who will join the project. Because all are part of this base from which the company will grow and, as the president of Cofounder.fr reminds us, “ the human resource is what makes it move forward “.