Look within your network
This goes both for digital and in-person relationships. The pandemic has reignited a passion for some to pursue entrepreneurship, which means there’s no shortage of people looking to either start a small business or be a part of one, in some capacity. If you branded yourself as an entrepreneur, it’s likely that you have like-minded people in your network. Pick the social platform(s) where you have the most engagement and tease out your inquiry for finding a co-founder by posing some intriguing questions. They don’t have to be cryptic, but they need not be direct either. Examples:
- Friends, how did you find the right co-founder for your business?
- Hello community – who here has ever considered having a co-founder, and if so, why?
- Thinking I might need a co-pilot to take my business to the next level. Where should like I look?
*Note that you may want to adjust the messaging depending on the platform, i.e., LinkedIn should carry a professional tone.
Add a button/link to your website’s header menu that reads ‘Join Our Team’ or something similar, that links to a co-founder position description page. Take care to highlight key soft and hard skills that the position requires, as well as academic background, experience, and other relevant questions. Typeform is a fancy tool, but Google Forms and others offer free but effective alternatives.
Pro Tip | Supercharge your hiring with video-submitted interviews. MyInterview.com offers a “free forever” starter plan that allows you to interview ten candidates, one position, per month. MyInterview saves you the time of having to conduct Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet meetings live.
Join a co-founder “match-making” site
This is obvious. And chances are you’ve seriously considered using this route, if you felt stagnant in your day-to-day role. While there are a handful of quality match-making sites, be advised that these sites attract founders and co-founders associated with pre-seed, venture-backed, and high-growth businesses. If your business is not tech-based or can make the case to be a tech company, the chances of attracting a co-founder might arrive lower than your expectations.
This is in no way is a reflection of the value of your business, but more a preference of current mainstream funding entities.
These days “being social” is a loaded statement. Lucky for you, there are several ways to connect with people and start meaningful relationships, on or offline. Small Business Expos are often touted as social opportunities to find your next “growthmate”, but these events typically attract large crowds and enough kiosks and booths to discourage more intimate, organic interactions.
Pro tip | Look into small business programs offered by local nonprofit organizations in your area. You are more likely to find someone who shares similar lived experiences (which can be important) and you determine their good fit by how good of a participant they are. Small business programs of these types additionally attract much smaller groups, and thus giving you, the founder more control on the outcomes.