Do you have what it takes to be a good small business partner?
Being in business with a good small business partner is more exiting, less lonely and two heads are often better than one. However, business partnerships are like marriages and most don’t last and some end badly! Business partners spend an enormous amount of time together and must make financial, personal and emotional sacrifices to keep the business going. Unfortunately, disputes arise in from these situations. A dispute with your partner can become one of the most bitter disputes you will ever experience.
To give small business partnership the best chance for success, follow these 5 Golden Rules to be a Good Small Business Partner. Furthermore, don’t bring your personal issues to work. Also read 14 Characteristics of a Successful Small Business Owner
5 Golden Rules to be a Good Small Business Partner
These rules for partner engagement ensure that your small business has a clear protocol of behavior, actions and priorities. Remember, put important things in writing and you’re always on the same team.
- Know Your Partner
- Learn about your partner’s background and value each other’s interests.
- Understand your partner’ long-term ambitions and personal goals.
- Be upfront with your expectations in the partnership and make sure each partner’s needs and expectations are addressed.
- Identify, utilize and capitalize on the strengths of each partner.
- Never take advantage of your partner’s weaknesses.
- Make sure your partner has had a successful history.
- Know Your Responsibilities and Decision-Making Expectations
- Define roles and responsibilities explicitly and avoid overlap to avoid conflict.
- Develop a framework for decision-making, consider impact and money.
- Take full responsibility for your actions do not try to shift the blame to your partner or someone else.
- When in doubt do not make a decision on your own and avoid surprises. Always consult with and get your partner’s agreement, if possible.
- Communicate with Your Partner
- Remain transparent and communicate regularly.
- Give your partner your full attention.
- Listen carefully with open mind to your partner’s ideas.
- Do not judge or jump to conclusions – make sure you understand what was said, meant, and intended.
- Preferable talk in person or by phone since tone and intention are too easily misinterpreted when using emails/texts.
- Respect Your Partner and be Honest
- Always treat your partner with respect.
- Always be honest towards your partner and if you have made a mistake admit it quickly.
- Be mindful of how you talk to your partner.
- Respect your partner’s decisions.
- Respect your partner’s time and be on time every time when you have an appointment or meeting.
- Resolve Partner Conflict Politely
- Don’t let your discontent fester on unresolved issues with your partner.
- Don’t give your partner the silent treatment.
- Keep perspective and distinguish between small and big issues/problems.
- Never skip the tough conversations, if you feel like conflict could arise in the future tackle it head on.
- Remain calm since tempers will prevent you working through your differences/arguments.
- Stay away from negative talk or talking down to your partner.
- Do not overreact and if you do apologize quickly.
- Allow your partner to talk and ask questions.
- Don’t threaten your partner at any time.
- Be creative, compromise and find something that partners agree upon.
- Accept your partner is not perfect.