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Do you need a co-founder to make your business a success?

Two heads are better than one, right?

Or will more voices and opinions in the room just create more conflict?

We're talking about working with other people. Or, to be more specific, we're talking about whether to start a business with them or go it alone.

It's a tough call.

But this latest guide from OnDeck can point you in the right direction.

Do you need a co-founder to make your business a success?

The infographic (featured below) include great advice from business leaders and other high-quality sources on whether or not you need a co-founder to start your next business.

Setting up a business with a co-founder: the facts and stats

Let's get straight into the big questions.

Do you need a co-founder? Would your business be better off if you had one?

The data suggests yes.

8 out of 10 billion-dollar US businesses started in the last 15 years had two or more founders. They include:
  • PayPal, founded by Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, Luke Nosek, Ken Howery, and Yu Pan
  • Facebook, founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew McCollum, Chris Hughes, Eduardo Saverin, and Dustin Moskovitz.
  • Google, founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Research from the Harvard Business School suggests co-founder companies grow 3X faster than those with a single owner.

Co-founders are over 2X more efficient at solving problems and pivoting to new strategies, according to a study by The Start-Up Genome.

It's thought that over 1 in 10 businesses (14%) with single founders fail early because the owners don't have the knowledge, skills, or time to do everything themselves.

The benefits and risks of having a co-founder

So the facts and stats say that co-founding is the way to go.

But what does it actually feel like to partner up and share your business baby with someone else?

Some of the good stuff includes:
  • More confidence and support; you're not in this alone!
  • A more comprehensive range of skill sets; different strengths that complement each other
  • Someone to bounce ideas off and brainstorm
Now let's look at some of the potential drawbacks:
  • Increased potential for conflict at the top of your business
  • A potential clash of egos and power struggles over job titles, responsibility, or even equity share
  • Less streamlined and dynamic, you can't make on-the-spot decisions

How to decide if you need a co-founder

Still unsure if you need a co-founder? Feeling a little nervous about the thought of going lone-wolf style?

Here are the questions you need to ask yourself when considering a co-founder.

If you answer yes to the following, then it's probably time to partner up.
  • Do you need to expand your network or list of contacts?
  • Are you drowning in responsibilities and struggling to put a dent into your to-do list?
  • Would you be happy to split the equity 50/50 with the right co-founder?
  • Do you often wish you could take a different perspective when making big decisions?
Now if the next set makes you scream no, then you've probably got everything covered.
  • Do you ever worry about raising extra investment if needed?
  • Is this the first business you've started?

The challenges of going solo

Flying solo can be incredibly liberating. But it's also extremely challenging. If you do spread your wings and fly alone, make sure you...
  • Build a good team around you. Don't try to do everything, Because you can't
  • Put a watertight business plan together
  • Be honest with yourself; admit your weakness and what skills you need to improve.
  • Ask for feedback and constructive criticism from your middle managers. And, more importantly, listen to it!
  • Schedule some downtime. It's crucial to avoid brain fade or burnt-out. Pressure is a great motivator; stress is a productivity killer.
There’s no right or wrong answer to working with a co-founder. Instead, it's about what works for you. And now you have the tools to make the best decision.


Read next: 11 examples of annoying work jargon (and what to say instead)

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