So, you may be in a business partnership and wondering what you have done. Don’t worry; this is a common problem and one that there is no shame in it other than taking the positive actions straight away.
First of all, you need to be clear why you got into that partnership and accept that things change and they will definitely have an effect on you and your relationship with the business partner. The fastest record that I have seen is 2 weeks, where the partners reached an unworkable situation and are now working on dissolving it. The business is new with new licences and leases signed. I won’t go into any more detail here, but, it just shows how quickly things can get sour and they got really sour very quickly in this example.
When people consider partnerships, they want to have some of the following:
- Share financial resources
- Share skills
- Share holidays
- Brainstorm with each other
- Challenge themselves
- Have mutual accountability
- Share responsibility
That’s all good at the beginning, but, it will change over time. The level of re-investment, mental and physical commitment will vary.
So, what do you do when you still have hope of it being salvaged?
Many business owners get an outside party, like a business coach, to facilitate their meetings and keep them on track with business related focusses. I coach plenty of business partners and I help keep them on track with their weekly, 12 monthly and 5 year objectives. This will reduce them focusing on destructive activities. With the aid of a business coach, the partners need to be aligned to the main cause.
And what do you do if you can’t see that the relationship has any future?
The key is to recognise that this is the case and aim towards an amicable parting of ways. The ideal situation is that a proper partnership agreement was in place and you aim to follow it to the letter to avoid anyone feeling like they have been taken advantage of. Nobody likes that even if you feel you are right.
The headline says “Why Business Partnerships don’t work and what to do about them” implies that they just don’t work, full stop. Well, in my experience, very few do, maybe 5%. The majority of business partnerships appear like a “regrettable decision at the time”. I’m also not suggesting that you need to get out of your business partnership, but, be realistic about the situation and work on it and perhaps get some outside assistance. Whilst most business partnerships that I have coached, we have been able to salvage, there are a few that parting of ways was the correct approach and this had to be managed so that the parties can continue with their lives.
In short, if someone asks whether it’s a good idea to get into a partnership, I ask them what do you want from it and let’s get busy getting it instead, because getting into a partnership can be a very constraining environment and many times opportunities go begging because it is only natural that you have at least one person who is more conservative than the other.
If you are experiencing any of those challenges, please give me a call and we can brainstorm how you could get the best out of your partnership.