Whether or Not You Need a Co-Founder

Deciding whether or not you need a co-founder is one of the most important decisions an entrepreneur can make. Co-founders are not employees: they share title, equity-split and equal-sized roles in the day to day operations of the business. But how do you go about choosing one?

The co-founder shares similar responsibilities as the founder.

  • Establishing rules determining who is responsible for what is vital. These rules must clarify the chain of command -- from the board of directors, to the employees and all the way down to the customers themselves.

Ensure their role and responsibilities are clearly defined.

  • This chain of command is a necessary structure that must be established and enforced at all times. It will help delegate duties and channel workflows. It will also make sure the right people get rewarded or reprimanded accordingly.

Seek a candidate with complementary skill sets.

  • A co-founder, if chosen wisely, can compliment the founder with a unique set of skills. For example, if what you lack in marketing skills you make up for in customer relations, then choose someone who can compensate that for you.

Bring on a co-founder to benefit the company, not personal needs.

  • While it may be tempting to collaborate with friends, be sure you are collaborating with someone who best fits the needs of the company and not yourself specifically. Some companies founded by friends have become very successful, but friendships need to take a back-seat to practicality and functionality.

While it may be tempting to collaborate with friends, be sure you are collaborating with someone who best fits the needs of the company and not yourself specifically. Some companies founded by friends have become very successful, but friendships need to take a back-seat to practicality and functionality.