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How to choose a business partner

How to choose a business partner

12 May 2020|Business Growth, Launching a business, Psychology

How to choose a business partner
How to choose a business partner

David Kindlon, CEO of Eppione, explains how the business was formed and the best ways to spot a potential entrepreneurial business partner. 

I’ve worked in the insurance sector in Ireland for 20+ years, and joined a global network of insurance brokers in 2016, to help with understanding global markets and how other brokers might help my clients who were expanding into different countries.

I first met our UK counterpart Neil Fallon at an employee benefits conference in the UK. He was new to the group, and after he had presented some UK benefit solutions and we shared a beer together, we started talking business. Shortly after, we both met Ernest Legrand at another conference where he was presenting on cyber risk. The three of us hit it off straight away; we were passionate about our own areas of expertise but also on how technology could help us and our clients going forward.

I first started working with Neil on ideas to help my clients with their operations in the UK.  His knowledge and understanding of the UK market and his attention to detail on these clients was second to none. We had a number of business development ideas, and when we started to discuss the opportunity that technology could bring, we shared the same passion.

Bringing Ernest into the mix was a no-brainer. His knowledge and understanding of technology had impressed us, along with his work in the insurance sector. We had often picked his brain on various issues. Working together was easy, we each have different personalities, but we get along so well and as a group this is a big positive for us. We have aligned our areas of expertise within the business which allows us to focus on what is important.

Without technology, we could never have developed the business to where it is today.  Having three business partners based in three different countries across two time zones, it would not have been possible to spend the time we needed together, so remote access technology has definitely been important for us.

Since the launch of the Eppione platform, we have seen business growing across all areas.  New direct clients, new partnerships and, very importantly, our expansion into the Australian market. Now we work in over four offices and three time zones, along with other remote workers throughout the UK. Technology is so important to us as we started out and ever more so now we are expanding.

Going forward, any business that does not embrace technology is going to fall behind. With the COVID-19 crisis impacting countless businesses across the globe, it is vital that businesses embrace the future of technology and its relationship with the way we work.

5 ways an entrepreneur can spot a potential business partner:

1. Skill set

Having too many people on the team with a similar skill set can have a negative impact on the business.. Entrepreneurs should focus on seeking out a business partner that has different skills than their own. If you are naturally a talented sales person, find a natural marketing person or a tech expert. The difference it can have on your professionalism and outlook will go a long way.

2. Delivery

Entrepreneurship is no fool’s game. Ideas must be backed by results. If you hit it off with someone creatively, make sure they are result orientated before you embark on your business journey. That way you can easily evaluate whether they are willing to put the work in and bring their ideas to fruition.

3. Working together

Arrange to work with your potential business partner before going into business together. If you have the opportunity, invite them to a client meeting in another country –  if you can travel with someone on business and be relaxed in their company the whole journey, this is a good sign that you will both flourish in a business capacity.

4. Socialise

Bringing different social skills to the table is important. Inviting potential partners to a social situation will help you understand them better.  As mentioned, Eppione has three very different personalities at the top of thebusiness, but we know when to bring and use the different social skills we have.

5. Share commonality

Look at your shared goals from both a personal perspective, as well as that of the business. Sharing an overall common goal with your business partners will help you focus on the tasks at hand, and inspire you when you need it most.

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