Before you jump into business with them buy them dinner first….and breakfast, then lunch, and dinner again.

Generally speaking, most people like to date for a bit before jumping into bed with someone. You want to know a bit of their history, what they are like, if you are compatible. I get that is not everyone, no judgment, but you should at least buy them dinner first. The same rule applies to those you want to jump into bed—I mean business with.

I see it all the time, best friends, family, and complete strangers decide to jump into business together without truly knowing what kind baggage the other person is carrying. Just because you are BFFs does not mean you’ll be BBPs (best business partners).

Going into business with the wrong person can have serious consequences; the biggest being loss of your business. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting to know who you are partnering with. Have they been in business before? What do they hope to gain from the partnership? How do they treat people? How do they handle conflict? Are they looking for a payout soon?

Take them to dinner, no seriously. At the very you least you should spend a good bit of time talking to this person and getting an idea of their business sense. Don’t believe everything you read on the strangers LinkedIn profile. Just because you were sorority sisters doesn’t mean you’ll be good business partners. And don’t think that because he’s your cousin he will be looking out for your best interests.

I recently worked with someone who was going into business with a complete stranger. After a 1 hour meeting he decided that this person was a fit. Mostly because this person had money to invest and that was the end game. While getting the capital you need to start your business is important you want to make sure you are smart about it. This guy wasn’t asking the right questions and only saw dollar signs. He did no research into the person’s background or checkout anything that they said. Needless to say he was in for a rude awakening.

Take the time to get to your future partner or you could wake up with something worse than an STD.

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