Business partnership can be likened to a marriage. Everybody goes into marriage with the hope to live together as a couple until death parts them. But unfortunately, you discover that many marriages end in divorce. In most cases, such divorces are not without pains and regrets. The same thing applies to business partnerships. There is more to business partnership than two people coming to form and run a business. Therefore if you want to go into any business partnership, you need to exercise caution so that the whole relationship will not bring pains and regrets at the end of the day.
You may need to ask yourself why you want to go into a business partnership in the first place. This will help you determine whether it is even necessary to enter into such relationship at all. What happens when a partnership fails? You never enter into a partnership with this in mind, but it could happen and there are many reasons why things don’t work out. So keep your eyes wide open for a few red flags that might make a partnership go off the rails.
Trust between Partners:
An honest and open relationship between partners is the foundation of any successful business partnership, so nothing breaks down a partnership faster than a lack of trust. How would someone bring a partner he cannot trust into a business? It happens at times especially when a person is so particular about raising funds for his business. If the only main reason for bringing in a partner is money, this type of business partnership cannot last. It may not be long before the new partner starts exhibiting some behaviour, which you may not like. You may not even know the true character of a person until money is involved. If you can’t trust a partner with company’s money, it is better to end such business partnership. The best thing is to research their history and reputation in the market. Chances are if the person has a history of stability and ethical behaviour, they will make a trustworthy business partner.
Mismanagement of Expectations:
When you go into a partnership with another party, set your expectations for what success will look like upfront. This way, if you or your partner starts to see that the number of sales isn’t up to snuff, or the number of new customers you thought you’d drive is looking low, you can reassess and make necessary changes.
Survival in Hard times:
Life is not a bed of roses. In business, there will be some times that things may not go smooth as expected. Though they say that tough times don’t last but only the tough people do. Not everybody can endure hard times. It is easy for a partner who is not used to hard times to quit during business downturn.
Being an entrepreneur is volatile, especially in the beginning. It’s damn hard, and stressful. So if you’re thinking about partnering with someone who is used to receiving a pay cheque, get ready to become a counsellor/coach. You will have to rid that partner’s mentality from their psyche.
Sharing risk and having complementary skill sets are some of the great advantages of business partnerships, but if the personalities of the partners do not sufficiently mesh, the business may be headed for trouble.
Disagreements among partners are to be expected, but heavily contrasting personalities can amplify differences of opinion and lead to resentment and conflict.
Keep in mind that differences in personality can also be a benefit rather than a hindrance, providing you respect your partners, value their opinions, and have a shared vision for the business.