Skip to content

Don’t Get Burned by Your Business Partner

Here’s a Valentine’s Day business tip for all the business partnerships out there, especially if you LOVE your business!

An entrepreneurial relationship can go sideways FAST if one partner begins to scrutinize another’s activity in their respective roles. It happens believe it or not. People change, goals and dreams change and how one approaches their profession, their job, their business can change due to a myriad of reasons such as:

1. An entrepreneur may feel they have “arrived” and they want to slow down a bit.

2. One learns and knows how to effectively delegate in order to scale the business.

3. They want to transition in order to finally honor their passion, their “calling”.

Contributions to the venture can be overlooked by a partner(s) when resentment sets in by another. If reasonable, kind, compassionate communication fails, resentment can creep in faster and most insidiously.

Hiring an outside consultant could be beneficial. However, vet that consultant vigorously. Check their background and their experience with managing businesses and business partnerships. You do not want to find out too late that they have no idea how to navigate a difficult situation.

Equally and most importantly, the following must be considered. You will want to consult with your business attorney on this.

1. Draft an operating agreement that specifically outlines duties of each partner.
2. Review the role and duties of each partner at least once per year.
3. Document the file with minutes of the meeting.

When an agreement / document is referenced on a regular basis, issues can be addressed before they get unruly and people get ornery. Memories fade and/or get distorted to match a current perspective.

In this age, where narcissism and borderline personality are a true epidemic (and perhaps incurable), victims can stay stuck in bad habits out of fear and confusion of bad behavior. This is no way to live a happy life. We all deserve to be happy and to seek a way to be happy when something feels off.

You don’t have to be an “Outsource Junkie” like myself, but research on how you can continually improve how your partnership can soar to the heights of what you envisioned when you got into business with your partner(s) in the first place.