Business partners, ideally, complement each other with different strengths. However, sometimes, other types of differences emerge – perhaps in growth strategy or culture – potentially leading to partnership disputes.
You do not want to start a business only to learn later that your expectations with those of your business partner’s do not align. Such scenarios reveal that poor planning is often at the root of business disputes.
Know your partner, create values agreement
Here is a blueprint of ideas that may help you avoid disputes and conflicts with your business partner:
- Know your business partner: Seek a business partner who has complementary skills. Ideally, you want to work with someone who brings different strengths to the mix. As long as you understand that from the beginning, you likely will work together more effectively. Have regular and candid conversations while looking for a partner and after you have launched the company together.
- Create a values agreement: While this may not be a legal document, it creates a foundation of expectations and accountability each partner has of the other. Such agreements recognize the ethical obligations of business partners and identify the significant differences that can be leveraged as strengths rather than weaknesses.
- Have a plan that addresses dispute resolution: Granted, differences will arise in any business when dealing with significant amounts of money, vision and follow through. Creating a dispute resolution plan may minimize conflict, while strengthening the way partners work together.
- Clearly define legal agreements: This includes contractual obligations that you do not want misinterpreted and potentially lead to a lawsuit.
These tenets just may help you grow your business and expand upon your relationship with your business partner.
Anticipation remains crucial
Anticipating potential problems before they surface is among the traits of an astute business owner. Finding the right partner and keeping that partnership intact may help your company see solid business success. To ensure this happens, you want to do your best in avoiding partnerships disputes.