5 Qualities to Look for in a Business Partner

With the right partner, you can bring your business to even greater heights. Here’s what to look for when you’re selecting your entrepreneur in crime.

Founding and maintaining a business on your own is a difficult, and occasionally lonely, endeavor. From heightened productivity to emotional support, bringing on a business partner can add tremendous value to your company. There’s no telling what more you could achieve with another person by your side.

Before bringing someone else aboard, reflect on your own personality and strengths. What kind of partner would complement your working style or enrich your business with an area of expertise that you currently lack? Regardless of how qualified a potential candidate is on paper, the choice comes down to selecting a person whose skill set and temperament aligns with the interests of your business and your own work ethic.

Here are five qualities you should look out for when parsing through the candidate pool for your future business partner:

1. Resilience

The ability to bounce back from obstacles and wrong turns is not only a helpful quality to have in a partner—it’s a necessary one. Inevitably, even the most successful of businesses will face setbacks. Your partner should be able to embrace adversity, learn from mistakes, and apply that newfound knowledge to future endeavors.

2. Confidence

As a business owner, you must be decisive in making both big and small decisions for your company. There won’t always be one right answer, but standing behind your choices is essential. Select someone who believes in the power of your combined experience and expertise, and won’t waver from making the difficult choices that matter.

3. Integrity

Above all, you must choose someone you can trust. Make sure your prospective partner’s words align with his actions. While you’re away from the helm, you’ll rest easier knowing that your company is in capable, honest hands.

4. Passion

Choose a partner who shares your excitement for your company’s mission. While confidence and experience are important for running a business, shared objectives will ensure that you are both on the same page well into the future. Select a partner who’s ready to chase after the same goals that motivate you every day.

5. Open Mindedness

The most successful businesses are run by adaptable people who can incorporate new ideas as they go, rather than blindly adhering to the original plan. Choosing a partner whose vision is too narrow or whose implementation strategy is too rigid can actually hurt the progression of your company. While it’s good to have a plan, it’s just as important to be flexible when circumstances change unexpectedly.

Be aware of the less desirable traits a potential partner exhibits. If someone displays poor communication skills, a negative attitude, impulsive actions, erratic and irrational behavior, or a lack of responsibility, you might want to reconsider your selection.

Go into the selection process with your ideal candidate—and these traits—in mind, but remain open to unexpected possibilities. Your future partner may not be exactly what you’d envisioned, but exactly what you need.

Ken Sterling is the Executive Vice President at BigSpeak Speakers’ bureau – the leading keynote and business speakers bureau in the world. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California and an MBA from Babson College. Ken teaches Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Strategy at UC Santa Barbara. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker, business consultant and sales & marketing expert. For press interviews, contact marketing@bigspeak.com.

This article originally appeared on Business 2 Community.