Entering into a business partnership can be an exciting opportunity for growth, but it also comes with its own set of challenges.
Unfortunately, many partnerships do fail, causing heartache and financial loss for all parties involved. To avoid becoming one of the many partnerships that end badly, it’s important to understand the reasons why they fail in the first place. In this post, we’ll explore the top reasons a business partnership fails and what steps you can take to ensure a successful, long-lasting partnership.
Misaligned Goals and Objectives
When starting a business partnership, it’s crucial that both parties share a common goal and a clear understanding of what each partner brings to the table. Struggles arise when one partner is more focused on short-term gains or has different priority values or goals than the other. This misalignment can lead to inter-personal problems, communication issues, and ultimately the collapse of the partnership.
Solution: Define and agree upon goals, objectives, and values early on in your partnership and revisit them regularly. Setting up a regular communication rhythm in your partnership helps you to stay aligned on your shared vision and helps you prevent any shifts or changes as it arises.
Lack Of Communication
Communication is the key to the success of any partnership. It’s no secret that communication problems can ruin relationships, both professional and personal, and business partnerships are no exception. When partners fail to communicate frequently and effectively, they risk creating misunderstandings, leading to delays and missed opportunities for growth.
Solution: Communicate openly and honestly with your partner, consistently. Consider creating a communication plan including regular meetings to discuss goals, results, challenges, and opportunities. Getting a regular internal audit can be very helpful for discovering unresolved issues deep within your partnership.
It is crucial that both partners bring equal value to the success of the business. Lack of fairness in the division of work, time, and finances is often a common problem where one partner can feel exploited and undervalued. When partners feel unequal, it can create bitterness, resentment, and cause tension in the partnership.
Solution: Clearly define each partner’s roles, contribution percentages, and responsibilities. Open negotiation about the equity and financial compensation of each partner can help to ensure an equal contribution.
No Clear Operating Agreement
Business partnerships can be complex, and it’s essential to have a clear, well-documented agreement of all aspects of the partnership, to prevent misunderstandings before they turn into greater issues. A lack of a clear operational agreement means partners may have different expectations concerning the amount of work, profit and costs percentages, and other areas, leading to conflicts that result in the dissolution of the partnership.
Solution: Work with an attorney to create a comprehensive operating agreement. This document should cover all bases, including the roles of partners, contributions of each, profits, and dispute resolution procedure, amongst others.
Entering into a business partnership carries with it significant opportunity, but it also comes with its own challenges, and it’s essential to understand the top reasons business partnerships fail to avoid them. A key factor in the success of a business partnership is communication, where regular well-documented communication can prevent misunderstandings. Clear and shared goals, consistent contributions, and a comprehensive operating agreement are also factors that contribute to the long-lasting success of any business partnership. Finally, having an attorney to facilitate the creation of that agreement can ensure that all parties are protected and understand their roles and responsibilities. If you’re considering entering into a business partnership, consider these key factors, and make a well-informed plan.