Serious conflicts between business partners can threaten the survival of a company. While disagreements or clashes of ideas are commonplace, some may escalate into a full-blown crisis which may mean the end of a partnership. If you find yourself in such a position, it is important to proceed carefully toward resolving the differences. It might just save your business.
The sources of disputes vary, but most originate from business finances, disagreements about running the affairs of the business, and even allegations of misconduct by one of the partners. Below are some tips that may come in handy if you are having differences with your partner.
Look to your partnership agreement
At the outset, all business partners must clearly understand their obligations and expectations, including how disputes are to be resolved. A comprehensive partnership agreement is essential to keeping disputes at a minimum and providing direction if they arise.
Consider a third party to mediate between your differences
If you cannot resolve the differences through direct negotiation with your partner, you may consider bringing in a third party to mediate between you and your partner. Alternative dispute resolution is cheaper than litigation, which might be your last resort if you are not making any headway.
In addition, do not take things personally. Having an open mind will ensure that you understand your partner’s point of view, all towards resolving your differences.
Perhaps the most crucial bit lies in proper planning. Before committing your business, it is advisable to discuss major business decisions with your partner extensively. These may include establishing buyout arrangements, assigning duties and responsibilities, among others. It is also necessary to understand all the options at your disposal and how effective they will be in settling your differences.