So you’ve come up with an innovative product or service. Your working model has been tested in focus groups, and now you are ready to sell or provide to the marketplace. What skills and talents will you seek as you select a cofounder for your enterprise? Here are some tips for finding the perfect candidate, and some pitfalls to avoid too.

Identifying the Right Cofounder

To share your vision and help grow your business, your cofounder must be committed to the same core values, not just determined to make the venture succeed. A founding partner must also think calmly on their feet and adapt smoothly to continually changing circumstances—and challenging situations requiring a quick, logical decision. Such a person doesn’t sweat the small stuff, yet is willing to complete small tasks while steering the ship through rough seas. Whether answering the phones or presenting the pitch to serious investors, this partner smiles through all tasks.

Building Positive Startup Environments

Two cofounders having a business meeting

Now, you might have enough vigor to energize the whole team, but you also want to be backed up by someone who has as much drive and talent. The hard work of running a business is not for the faint of heart. You want a cofounder with energy to spare, who can recharge your own drained batteries. And serving as a cofounder is not only about the skills, talents, and a Rolodex, but also about character.

Venture partners need to maintain their composure during the rough moments, especially common in startup environments. Negative interactions with coworkers, clients, or investors can destroy hard-won relationships and threaten all that you have built together.

So, take on the prospective cofounder slowly, build trust, use a formal trial period, determine the equity, and verify they’re in it as much as you are. The right cofounder can make or break your startup business. So if that relationship fails, make sure it fails fast, and redouble your efforts, onward and upward!

What tips do you have for finding the right cofounder? Let us know down in the comments.

This article was originally published at GREY Journal.