Choosing Christian business partners can be a challenging task. On the one hand, it can be a wonderful experience because you now will have someone to share the load and bring in new ideas for the business. On the other hand, if you don’t choose wisely, it can lead to broken relationships and frustration.
Given the verse, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers” 2 Corinthians 6:14, we should all be pretty clear that if you are Christians choosing business partners, you should choose other Christians. I believe “unequally yoked” refers to a business relationship as well as to a marriage.
But we need to go beyond that. We can choose another Christian and still have lots of challenges with the partnership. Here are some things to consider.
When choosing business partners, first of all, determine if they LOVE the business as much as you do. Now, if it’s been your business for a while and you are just now taking on a partner, they may need some time to catch up. But, in general, is this their passion? You do not want to take on a person with a “whatever”type attitude and who is only in it for the money. This is your business and reputation we are talking about. You need a partner who is as enthusiastic about it as you are and will defend, not compromise, your reputation.
Choose Christian business partners who have the same values as you do. Christian values can be varied from person to person, so be sure your business ethics are in line with one another’s. This will divert many struggles as you run the business. There are many practical decisions that need to be made on pricing, refund policies, and advertising that can cause conflict if you are not both on the same page. So, do yourself a favor, and know their values before entering into a partnership with them.
Having Christian business partners can, and should, be a great experience. They are people who can help where your skills are weak or who can carry part of the financial burden. But choose carefully so that you can enjoy the relationship and see your business succeed.