How To Find Business Partners Online

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Whether you are a small business or a multinational, you will require partners. They inject capital or expertise to help you achieve your commercial goals. The biggest challenge for most businesses is how to find legitimate partners. 

The internet is one big networking arena. It offers a platform to find, vet, and contact potential, partners. The partners are also looking for businesses with growth potential. It saves you the trouble of physical vetting, including the fake impressions and expenses.

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Why look for partners?

No man is an island. You cannot achieve your business goals alone. You need an expert in banking, marketing, distribution, international relations, and raw materials sourcing, among other operational needs. Partners help you to achieve your full potential through specialization and capital injection. 

How To Find Business Partners Online

The right partners coming together at the perfect time will transform the smallest idea into mega success. At the same time, partnerships are meant to benefit all parties. You build an alliance such that all people involved will grow and meet financial expectations. 

Partners help you to nurture relationships. You stop operating at the small league, instead of competing with established firms or winning market share. It is also a chance to outdo your competitors, especially widening the gap to prevent them from catching up with you.

What will partners do to your business?

Entrepreneurs and business owners are cautious when looking for partnerships. The greatest fear is losing your idea to unscrupulous venture capitalists. But what partners should you be looking for and what will they do to your business? 

Fill a skills gap

Skills are crucial when starting a business. They determine workflow, especially expertise. For instance, if your work is heavy on graphics design or video editing, you may partner with an editor or designer. You avoid paying expensive fees every time you have a design task. 

The skill gap should be professional. You avoid, for instance, using amateur designers for your posters. If you need someone to help with the books, you should find a financial consultant who is qualified for the job, and in turn secures the financial health of your company. The availability of the right skills will transform your working speed, efficiency, and quality of work you deliver.

Inject capital

Partners inject capital into a business. The capital may be monetary or material. All businesses start as ideas. However, a lot of the founders do not have the capital to develop prototypes or scale the business to a profitable level. You bring in a partner to inject the capital you need to expand your operations. 


Capital partners can be brought at any point. Venture capitalists are always looking for viable ideas to inject capital. You agree with your partner to convert the capital into equity. 

Provide starting companionship

Starting a business is a lonely affair. You work long hours alone with no idea what to do next. A companion will help you to brainstorm and find viable paths to grow the business. By eliminating doubts, you can work faster and take bold steps. You may pick an experienced professional in the field to accompany you through the journey. He will bring expertise as well as the confidence to execute your plans.

Cover for you

Market forces are brutal to startups. You come to disrupt existing networks and businesses. You face regulatory hurdles in the course of setting up your business. You need an experienced hand to shield you from business vultures. Competitors will also hunt you down while others imitate your products. A partner will use his name to protect you from annihilation at the infancy stage. 

Provide the right network

It takes time to build a reliable network to help you grow a profitable market share. Your capital might not help you to profitably and especially expand at a profitable rate. A partner with an existing business can support you to establish by riding on his network. For instance, he may use his distribution trucks or agency centers to help you reach the market at a lower price. You save the cost of buying trucks or establishing agencies by utilizing your idle capacity. 

Partners will serve many other roles depending on the stage at which you are looking for partners. The most important aspect is to find the right partners. Here are tips to consider.

How to find business partners online

Solidify your business idea 

Partners invest skills, time, and money in businesses. You must assure them that the idea will provide a return on investment. The conviction must be felt in your proposal. Be the first person to understand the idea before selling it to third parties.


 Understand your product, necessary procedures, acquire copyrights, and necessary licenses to operate. Identify the professionals required to actualize the idea and the cost of such skills. Break every aspect of your business into numbers for easier understanding. 

Partners cannot deal with blind spots. Some might exploit them to take off with your idea. In other cases, partners will withdraw if the blind spots are risky. Understand your business model, product, and market potential before inviting anyone on board.

Partners take ownership or a part of your operations. It will result in shared capital. By understanding your business and idea, you will know what to offer. You avoid selling your business share or outsourcing operations at a loss. 

Define the right partner 

What aspect of your business are you looking to strengthen? It will majorly define the kind of partner you will need. 

Partners come in all formats. However, there are three major types of partners.

Capital partners

They inject capital into your business. Some let you run the daily operations of your business while they stay in the background. Others may appoint executives and CEOs based on their capital share. 

Professional partners 

They offer expertise to run the business. The expertise may be skills or experience. Their contribution will determine the capital share they get. Such partners are especially important for startups. 

Professional partners for established businesses demand payment. They could be accounting firms, advertisers, media liaisons, and legal service providers, among others. You negotiate long-term deals to avoid engaging every time you need some work done. 

Material and network partners 

The partners do not inject capital or offer services. Instead, you build mutual relationships, especially where you use their infrastructure to grow your business easily. For instance, you may contract a firm to supply your product alongside their own. You may also allow your hotel to operate under an umbrella of an established brand. The partners in most of these cases earn through commission. 

All these types of partners require different modes of engagement. You must understand their operations and how they will align with your development goals. You avoid offering capital to a partner who can help with distribution at a commission without diluting your capital position.

By the time you approach a partner, the benefits to your business must be defined. 

Know where to find the partners

The internet is a bottomless pit. It also offers both legit and fake partners. You may end up losing a brilliant idea to unscrupulous partners or getting the best partner to grow your business. Consider different communication channels like social media, email, etc. When it comes to emails, for example, make sure to use an SPF syntax checker for campaign security.

Do not rush to offer your business to every partner you find online. Here are the legitimate places to find business partners online. 

Follow established business personnel 

CEO and executives in the industry will share information about partnership opportunities. They highlight persons they have worked with to grow their businesses. Follow these executives on personal as well as professional online platforms like social media as well as websites. You avoid scams and imposters.

Business influencers

Business influencers will give you an idea of the legitimate people to work with. They share their stories and everyday experiences. Influencers will also point at new items where partner brands and individuals are covered. Such details help you to establish the legitimacy of a partner. Do not be blind to negative coverage. It exposes the weaknesses of potential partners, especially areas where you might fall prey. 

LinkedIn and social media 

Are you looking for the best accountant? Check his profile on LinkedIn and social media. The same applies to engineers, writers, bankers, and consultants. They use social media for professional engagements. Comments and reviews on these platforms tell you whether the partner is legitimate. 


Social media also applies to corporate bodies like banks and hedge funds. Reviews by followers will help you to determine the legitimacy of a company or executive. You may also check media outlets that cover your sector to see if they have positive or negative stories about your target partner. 

Follow backlinks

They exist on established websites. Check for articles on business and building partnerships. They will direct you to reliable partners in different categories. You should follow credible writers and websites to avoid scams. 

Vet potential candidates

Vetting is one of the most important exercises when looking for a business partner. It will determine your overall experience dealing with the partner. Whether you get value for money or as swindled will depend on how well you vetted the partner. 

Vetting begins online. Based on your source, you can make an initial assessment to shortlisting the candidates for thorough scrutiny. For instance, if you picked a partner from LinkedIn or social media, you can determine his viability by checking comments. 

Ask crucial questions before shortlisting the candidate:

  • Has the partner handled similar projects in the past?
  • Does he possess the necessary licenses and accreditation?
  • Does he have the potential to meet my expectations? 
  • Is the partner ready to take my offer and keep me profitable?
  • What is his reputation in the industry? (You avoid diluting your brand by working with unreliable professionals).

Go past the face and establish the legitimacy of the partners. You may send an associate or friend to ascertain that the address provided is legitimate. You may also check company registration for approvals and permits. Ask within your network to get referrals and reviews. Most of these activities are offline. However, they all originate online and will help you to secure a valuable partnership deal.

Make initial contact

Ascertain the legitimacy of the partner by making the initial approach. It is an expression of interest in partnering with a professional or firm. You indicate your interest in partnering to see whether the respondent is still interested. If contacting by phone, consider obtaining a toll-free number as this can present authority and professionalism to any potential partners

Do not reveal the details of your business yet. Instead, use the opportunity to generate curiosity and initiate engagement. Some partners will respond because the opportunity is still open. Others will decline the offer for varied reasons, including stretched capacity or lack of capital at the moment. The exercise narrows down the list of partners who will receive your proposal. 

Draw a proposal 

Write to the shortlisted and responsive partners about your intention. In the reply to the initial contact, they will have indicated the mode of engagement they would prefer. For instance, you may be asked to provide registration details and a brief on your business operations. 

Keep the proposal clear and precise. Indicate your intentions and expectations. The information you provide will help them to assess the viability of partnering with you. Consult online successful proposal examples to take inspiration from. However, do not be too specific and strict with demands. Leave sufficient room for negotiation because partnerships are a give-and-take affair. 

All partners carry out due diligence before engaging potential businesses. Your books and registration details must be updated as well as in order. If they have a reason to doubt your operations, you will miss the partnership opportunity. The doubt may sometimes not be genuine. It could result from missing details. Countercheck all the details you enter in the proposal before submitting it. 

Leave room for physical presentations when drafting a proposal. At this point, the number of potential partners will be smaller. You must give your best during the presentation to win the confidence of potential partners. Do not be tied to one partner. Instead, evaluate your options before settling on a partner. An open mind is the best way to get value for money when looking for business partners online. 

In case, if you want to terminate the partnership for some reason, you can learn more about partnership buyout of partner to understand the process of partner's agreement and their termination.


The right business partner will transform the fortunes of your venture. Choose partners who complement your needs like capital, skills, or operational efficiency. Approach the partners with clear expectations while still safeguarding your interests. 

Only the right partner, at the right time, and with the right resources will help your business grow.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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