I am currently finishing my degree online and I have a little more time this year to search for a cofounder who can help get my business to the next level? What are some good strategies to use when trying to accomplish this?
What's your contribution to the business and what would be your expectation from that?
Think of your co-founder as your first investor who is taking a huge risk by investing his time and effort into your idea. There are a few things that you need to prove - first and foremost is that you can deliver and the second that your idea worth the effort. Note, that your ability to deliver is valued above your idea and this is important (at least it would be to me) for attracting quality candidates.
Depends on what you are looking for in the Co-Founder in terms of skillset and alignment of your business.
You could look for a batchmate (if the online study allowed for some room for classroom style interaction), else try accelerator/incubator networking events to begin with.
All the best, and you could reply back with more specific queries. Would be happy to guide.
Could you share in a line or two on what's your business plan on?
The first strategy would be to get all your documents in order, the banking establish, do the name search, get the grant funding, and settling in, depending what your business is about. Being new in a community can be just as advantageous as off-putting. Your the talk of the town and have services to offer that others aren't even aware they need yet. Next, you work on your marketability, I guess you've already defined your executive summary, get a location, client acquisition, look at trends and projections for the area, and see how others do what you do then do it a bit better. Socialize, network, ask for help and then give advice and making friends never hurts when your a new business owner.
Keep your head above water, do strong, solid contracts and don't let people pay late, plus you have to account for all your expenses on top of whatever partnership agreements or independent contracts you bind too, don't even pay for a thing out of your own pocket when your working., unless they're coming after equity or off the market shares.
You have a stock portfolio?
@Max, the first thing is to discard your preconceptions about age or experience as a hard limit on who will work with you. The next is to use the right vocabulary so you are matching up with what expectations your words give.
You don't have a business that is getting to the next level until you have customers paying you. I'm going to make the assumption that most likely you still are in an idea and planning phase and don't have a product/service or customers yet. That's an important distinction.
The best plan is one that doesn't need a cofounder. Cofounders have some degree of control, complicate all decisions, and their vision must precisely align with yours. Lacking certain skills to complete your plan does not indicate you need a cofounder, simply that you need support. Such support might be an employee, a friend, a contractor, a service provider, an advisor/mentor, or someone else. Being a first employee does not grant founder status. Not being able to pay someone is a different issue than needing a cofounder.
Every business needs six fundamental skills: marketing, sales, organization, people, efficiency, and leadership. These are not the only skills, but they are the foundation. No one person ever masters more than two of these skills, so even as a solopreneur you will always need support for some of these, and that's okay.
What other people who may get involved in your enterprise care about is: reduced risk, personal benefit, and reasons to believe. The more research, planning, and validation steps you complete to reduce risks for any partner or employee, the more willing they will be to join your enterprise. Since you have an unlimited amount of time before you start something to gather facts, figure out what it will take, test assumptions, and build a plan, there's no excuse for starting something too soon. In fact, planning is sometimes how you know not to start, because you've discovered the risks are too high or that you won't be able succeed, before you lose any money or more time.
If you have an initial plan, the next action for you to do is build and validate your marketing strategy. Marketing should drive product development, not the other way around. At some point you will need to decide when you're ready to make it a full-time thing because a real business is not intended to be a part-time endeavor.