I have just launched an interactive website, I am looking for a techical partner as that is not my strong suit. I have met with a couple of people who want to come on board but I'm just not sure either are a good fit. Should whoever I partner with live in area? Is it wise to partner with someone from out of state? Please help I feel like I'm at a standstill with my business.
According to the information given, you are building an online business. The fact that it is an online business, I think there is no problem at all having a co-founder through on a larger distance.
I'm very new to this website, but it seems like the right place to find people who are willing to work on similar project like you. So to start looking here for the right co-founder isn't that crazy of an idea.
But what makes the right co-founder? I believe the most important requirement is that this person is equally excited to work on the project like you are.
The best combination between co-founders are them being very opposite of each other. This gives a larger variety in skills and different views on the project.
Why do you think you need a CoFounder? Because you were told you did? Unless they are a real co-founder, with all that really means, then investors do not regard them as such, rather as employees. Save yourself the angst and be your own founder.
You talk of a technical partner. Do you mean someone to build and maintain the site?
Maybe a good place to start is someone with strong digital skills. You're probably aware of the term, Minimal Viable Product (MVP). It's quickly putting out there a site with just essential functionality only. Some have less. The founder of Dropbox launched a page with just an marketing/explanatory video and a means to capture emails from early adopters. They are there to test your business hypothesis. If there is little adoption then perhaps you need to tweak the idea or abandon it altogether.
The other think is to be sure that what you have designed is not just pretty. I work as a UX Designer / Architect and it is still surprises me how many sites still make fundamental mistakes when creating their site structure, the features they employ and the content (tone of voice, length etc) they adopt. If your idea is in a crowded market place then you have seconds to keep people onsite. Prices and products of course is the main thing, but it's ensuring that content about all this is clear and easy to find that is key. It's a fickle world in cyberspace!
Testing your site using analytics or even just asking friends and family can help. We all think we have the killer idea, but it is other people, particularly our target audience who will tell us if we are right or wrong.
In the commercial world, all this is all usually done before serious coding begins. Getting a website together these days is easy. Getting the RIGHT, and TARGETED website is the hard bit.
Hope this helps.