Don’t get me wrong: For small businesses just starting out, finding partners isn’t about merging with other companies or getting more financial stakeholders. That comes much further down the line. For singular entities who are looking to grow, finding partners is about tapping into your developed network for talented individuals that vibe with you.
The last part is bolded because it’s the most critical part of the entire chain: Getting people that you feel comfortable enough to work with is crucial. Some entrepreneurs are more flexible than others, while some people just need a more structured context to deliver. Whatever your style, get someone that fits into that vibe of yours.
I learned what was good for me the hard way: If they’re good, but I can’t stand their lack of punctuality in delivering work, I drop them. If they’re smart, but can’t seem to understand how to approach the creative, I drop them. If they’re incompetent but nice to me, I still have to drop them.
I bet some of you are asking “yeah but how do you get them?” My process is really simple:
- Open Instagram and start scrolling. People invariably post about work, hobby or interests. They may also share their friend’s work.
- I react to a story, drop a comment, and re-introduce myself in a genuine manner.
- Start explaining what I’m looking for, and ask for interest.
- Now repeat this, but on Facebook. Ditto for Whatsapp or telegram, although I only use that in group chats that I’m active in.
You probably won’t get someone on board immediately, but what you’re doing is re-establishing connections to people who knew you once and possess a skill you’re willing to pay for. Sometimes, you might not give them paid work, but they open a door to a client that you can work on together.
Whatever the outcome, try to have a conversation on text, make a phone call or have coffee with them. You’ll get to know them better, and build friendships along the way!