Business partnerships are close relationships and as such, the occasional upset is inevitable.
Many creative business ideas have failed due to partner disputes. When arguments between business partners escalate, the future of the entire venture is at risk.
Understand the issue
When tensions rise between you and your counterpart, it is important to gain a clear understanding of the underlying problem before attempting to resolve the dispute. Some common issues between business partners include:
- Inequality of responsibility or pay
- Declining morale and goodwill
- Misappropriation of funds or assets
Taking the time to pinpoint the reason for conflict will help you to formulate your plans when confronting, negotiating or discussing the future of your company with your partner.
Open the line of communication
As with friendships, marriages and other relationships, disagreements between business partners generally begin with a lack of communication. If you and your cohorts are open, honest and willing to listen, then you can begin to appreciate each other’s points of view and work together to find beneficial solutions to your problems.
Establish a formal business plan
If your company documents and shareholders agreement are clear, then the resolution to any issues may just require clarification of processes and procedures that already exist. However, if your business plan is ambiguous, then important aspects of your business, such as financial management and delegation of duties, may be lacking. Having a thorough business plan in place allows you to run your company with little confusion.
Working with your associates to establish a transparent business agreement is the first step in quickly and effectively resolving any unfortunate partner disputes.