The founder of a company is usually someone who comes up with the original idea or concept of the product or service for the company. As a founder, you will be the one to initiate the process of building your business. It is completely natural for you to feel overwhelmed with all the work that’s in your hands, feeling the pressure of doing it all alone. If it happens that the original idea that you thought of, would require too much work for you to handle by yourself in order to grow your startup off the ground, that is where a co-founder comes in.
Do you need a co-founder?
There are many duties and responsibilities that a founder has to commit to for building their company. From the technical side of technology to operations and management, designing, marketing and communications, etc. If you’re capable of handling everything by yourself, then you might think of going solo where you’ll be the one who has to manage everything. However, no one is a know-all person. There are some aspects of skills where it would be useful getting a helping hand. It is better to get a co-founder that can satisfy the criteria for other sectors where you might have less expertise.
What is a co-founder?
Although it is not necessary to have a co-founder, it does help to have one to make the journey to build your startup manageable.
A co-founder is simply someone you’re collaborating with but in the case of building your company. They are gonna be the ones that you will be spending the most of your time with, throughout the journey for the growth of your company. If I were to put it simply, it is like a marriage. Your co-founder is your spouse, and the company is your child. Whatever good or bad happens with the company, the co-founding team has to deal with it together.
Who can be a co-founder?
This is a really interesting question to address. There are no benchmarks for a co-founder. You’re not interviewing them. The most important thing, however, is trust. A co-founder should be someone you can trust and one that trusts you the same way. You have to be honest with each other. It can be someone you really get along with at your workplace, a friend you have known for a long time, or a connection that you have mutual respect or values with. It’s even more important than choosing the ideas and plans you are going to work on.
Founders spend a lot of time brainstorming their business plans for their projects before they can start working on them. Often, the initial plans may change later on. The co-founding team can pivot to a different approach based on the circumstances of development.
One thing that does not change, however, is the co-founders. You have to absolutely make sure that you’re working with the right people. Your team is the core foundation of your company. Don’t go on a shopping spree for finding a co-founder. You can’t simply choose somebody as a co-founder just from meeting a person at any social event or conference and having small talks with them for ten minutes. Just like how you don’t ask for marriage on a first date.
Get introduced to more people, and work with them. You have to build your relationships together. It’s only after you have worked with somebody can you realize whether they are gonna be a fit for working alongside you in building your company. Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses while you work with them. See if you complement each other’s work. When you do find someone like that, it is important that you keep developing your trust with each other. Maintain clear and transparent communication.
Work on your priorities for doing whatever your startup needs to get off the ground and achieve early success. It is important that you do so in order to affirm that you and your co-founder are on the same page in setting up strategies for the development of your company when you’re brainstorming ideas. Your vision for the company should be agreed upon and it may be that sometimes your co-founder’s strategies are better than yours for the company, if so, they should be able to explain why it is. Set your ambitions aligned. Do not take your relationship for granted.
You don’t ask for marriage on a first date