Should You Start A Business With Or Without A Co-Founder?


by Emily Cho


One of the many dilemmas faced by people who want to start their own business is to find the right co-founder. If you can work only the business side of a business, you have a choice of either finding a technical co-founder or hiring an employee. If you are a technical person, you want to work with someone who can take care of the business side so that you can focus on what you do best. I have encountered many people struggling to find the perfect co-founder who is equally passionate about their idea. As for myself, I have experience in starting a business both with and without a co-founder. Having both experience helped me gain some insight about a business partnership. Here is a list of advantages of having and not having a co-founder for your business.


Advantages Of Starting A Business With A Co-Founder


1. You Have Someone To Share Successes And Failures With

The beginning is always the hardest part. If you start a business alone, you have to tackle and overcome small and big problems by yourself. Even if you hire someone to work for you, he or she wouldn’t fully understand what you’re going through. If you have a co-founder, you can ask him for honest opinions or advice whenever you want. It’s always comforting to have a co-founder to talk to and share business problems with.


2. You And Your Co-founder’s Skill Sets Can Complement Each Other

If you don’t have certain skill sets, you can choose to learn them. But entrepreneurship requires many different skill sets, and it can be time consuming to learn all of those skills. For instance, I have experience in marketing and strategy, but I don’t know how to code. I tried learning coding for a few months and was able to acquire a basic knowledge of it, but the chances are, you will be able to get your product out there much faster if you have a co-founder who has a technical background.


3. Disagreements And Discussions Can Lead to New Ideas.

If you and your co-founder agree on everything, you should probably find another partner. Disagreements can be good for your business because active discussions can give rise to novel ideas.




Advantages Of Starting A Business Without A Co-founder


1. No Conflicts: Decision-Making Gets Easier

If you start a business with a co-founder, every time you have to make decisions, you have to ask your co-founder for his or her opinion and come to an agreement. If you start a business by yourself, you can make decisions quickly and have no one to interfere with your choice.


2. You Don’t Need To Worry About Who Works Harder

When you start with a co-founder, you and your partner would agree to split the tasks fairly. But there can be times when you feel like you are working much harder than your partner, and that certainly doesn’t feel fair. It is even possible that your co-founder feels the same way about you. If you don’t want to worry about who is more committed and who is not, I suggest you start your business without a co-founder. In most cases, however, the one who works harder doesn’t always produce better outcomes.


3. If You Have All The Skills You Need, Why Not Start By Yourself?

This is a rare case, but if you can handle all the works necessary to start and grow your business, you don’t need to have a co-founder. You can just hire people when you need them. You can enjoy more freedom and have a complete control over your business.


As an entrepreneur, I usually recommend prospective entrepreneurs to start a business with a co-founder if possible. Having someone to share the burden and the joy can make you feel less stressed about the uncertain future that lies ahead. Usually, a team of two or three is the best. If you have too many co-founders, it becomes much harder to build a product quickly and efficiently. Should you decide to start with a co-founder, you need to think carefully about whether you and your co-founder would be a great match, in terms of personality, skill sets, background, and so on. Whether you choose to start a business with or without a partner, don’t regret your decision, and enjoy the entrepreneurial journey!


Emily ChoEmily is the co-founder of Funfundate, a social matching game dedicated to connecting people with like-minded singles nearby in a stress-free, fun way. Connect with Emily on Twitter @emilyjsweet.





Photo Credits

Ambro | boulemonademoon | | Courtesy of Emily Cho