5 Reasons to Ditch Your Business Partner

March 25, 2011  |  

(Inc) — Picture an old-fashioned covered wagon. Now, imagine your job is to pull that wagon. The wagon carries all of the concerns and goals of your business; understandably, this is a pretty heavy wagon, so you consider finding someone to help you pull it. A partnership would be mutually advantageous: someone would join you, at no extra cost, and help you pull the wagon. It’s more efficient, really. So you agree to a partner.  Now, weeks or maybe even months later, you look up to realize your partner is sitting in the wagon. You’re the only one working.

This example is from Craig Jennings, a serial entrepreneur and business coach based out of Port Washington, New York. Jennings calls this “the first moment of disillusion,” but moments like these can happen in partnerships all the time. One person believes the other is slacking, but the other might perceive it completely differently. Maybe your partner just needed a short rest. How this miscommunication is handled may predict the later success of the business partnership.  “The biggest horror show in the world is a partnership that doesn’t work,” Jennings says. “The whole business stops. The wagon stops. Everybody stops pulling and starts arguing.”  Sometimes, if the partners can’t adequately work out their problems, the partners may consider breaking up. There are some clear warning signs of a failing partnership; if these problems aren’t addressed, you may want to consider finding a new business partner. Maybe even a new wagon, too.

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