Why co-founder businesses are more likely to succeed


What do Google, Facebook, PayPal, and many other billion-dollar firms have in common?

They’re all co-founder businesses started by more than one person.

So does that mean you always need a co-founder to reach the top of the business game, or can you do it all by yourself?

OnDeck has the answers. The small business lender’s latest study examines the best and worst parts of co-founding a company.

Let’s get into it

The facts and stats

OnDeck’s researchers put together a convincing case explaining why partnering up is the best option for budding entrepreneurs and future business leaders. 

They scoured some of the best business sources online and found that, as a general rule, businesses with more than one founder perform better.

The study shows that co-founder businesses grow their customer bases 3X faster than those with a single owner. They also scale up 3X faster and are 2X more efficient at adapting to changes in the market. 

And almost all the really big players have more than one co-founder. In fact, 80% of billion-dollar businesses founded in the US since 2005 are co-founder businesses. 

The best parts of working with a co-founder

The facts and figures don’t tell the whole story. Because working with a co-founder includes loads of extra benefits that can’t be summed up in charts and graphs. 

For example, co-founders are great for…

  • Lending some much-needed moral and emotional support
  • Diversifying your company’s skillset and complementing your talents
  • Sharing the burden of responsibility
  • Brainstorming and bouncing ideas around

The challenges of co-founding

But not every day will be a fun day when working with a co-founder. 

The biggest challenges include navigating tricky conversations (or outright conflicts) over job roles, responsibilities, and equity splits.

Several co-founders with a significant stake in decision-making could also slow a business down, making it less agile and less reactive when it needs to perform a quick pivot or strategy re-think. 

After all, it’s easy to act fast when you’re the only one making the big decision. With co-founders to consider, that same decision can take months, instead of a few days (or even just a few hours).

So do you need a co-founder?

So those are the pros and cons of setting up (and then running) a business with a co-founder.

But the big question remains; do you need a co-founder to make your business a success? 

Well, that’s one question that OnDeck’s study can’t answer for you. But it can point you in the right direction. 

The study includes a detailed decision tree that can help you reach the best decisions for you and your business. Simply follow the questions down until you get to the bottom of the infographic. 

It will tell you if you need a co-founder, are ready to go it alone, or if you need more time to decide.

The lone wolf life

For those who go solo, OnDeck added a list of what to expect as a lone-wolf founder.

There’s advice on writing a watertight business plan, attracting investors, evaluating your strengths and weaknesses, avoiding burnout, and much more. 

Co-founding or flying solo: whichever way you choose, this study has got you covered.

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