Business partnerships can either end up in a disaster or a blessing, depending on the relationship between partners. Every now and then, we hear about partnerships going bad, usually because one of the partners was not good enough or the relationship became sour over the time, and so on. So, what can you do ensure that doesn’t happen to your business partnership? There are many things. The most important one is choosing the right business partner. There are many signs of a bad partnership, but we often neglect them when choosing a partner.
Although it is not easy to differentiate goods partners from bad, not in the beginning, there are some specific bad elements whom you can recognize even from far away and need to avoid making a partner in your firm. Here is a list of seven kinds of persons you should avoid when looking for a business partner.
1. The ‘Employees’
Some people are just meant to be employees and are not able to manage the responsibilities of a business. A person with the employee mindset expects to get paid regularly, if not weekly or monthly, work only during office hours, spend time with the family, and follow instructions rather than give them. What happens when you make such a person a partner in your business? They will leave you as soon as they get a better “job” opportunity or as soon as your investment opportunities fade away. Avoid the individuals who are not open to risks or are willing to give time and energy to the partnership.
2. Those who talk much, work less
You might have seen many people who just talk and talk of how big or good they are at something but usually have no record or proof to show. These kind of people are bad for partnerships. They will expect you to do everything that matters and will be gone when it comes to taking responsibility. They will assure you that everything is going great, and you might even become a victim of their charm if you are unfortunate enough. Be sure to check and verify the CV and other credentials of the person when interviewing for a business partner.
3. A Procrastinator
These people like to delay things off and they always have the right excuse for that. They pretend that they want things to be ‘perfect’ no matter how long it takes to do it. It seems like the right decision at the time, but you usually end up delaying important decisions, piling up meetings and other things. Some of these people are plain lazy and prefer to leave things until the deadline when it usually becomes too difficult to finish on time. Avoid such excuse-giving procrastinators if you wish to protect your business from partnership conflicts, and choose a partner who is able to make the right decision at the right time.
4. The ‘Inconsistent’ ones
A person who is not able to stay with one decision or like to switch things very frequently can be termed as ‘inconsistent’. These people like to experiment with different things and decisions, which might be a good thing for the business, but not if you are a startup and can’t afford to lose money on unnecessary things. You can identify this trait by simply looking at the work profile of the potential partner. If they quit or switch jobs very often and frequently, the chances are that they will do the same with the business.
5. The ones who are always ‘right’
Or at least they think they are. These people like to make all the important business decisions without even discussing with other partners. They assume that discussions are only going to diminish the value of the decision. They are even ready to demean other business partners who disagree with them. Also, they are usually eager to blame everyone else but themselves when a decision goes wrong. Try avoiding such people when choosing a business partner. Find someone who is good at communicating, not dictating.
6. Bad with people
There are many people who do foolish things knowingly and then there are ones who do not even know what constitutes as good behavior and what doesn’t. They do not care how they treat other people and often end up offending someone. A business partner is no good if he cannot treat business customers and clients well. If your prospective partner is bad with people, you shouldn’t consider making him a partner in the business. You will never see them coming, and everything will be ruined even before you realize it, just because they opened their mouths.
7. The ‘Dreamer’ ones
It is good and often necessary for a businessperson to have a dream, but it becomes a problem when dreaming is all that he does. Avoid making a business partner who dreams of becoming rich very soon just because he thinks he has a great idea but doesn’t actually know anything about running a business. They normally plan to use your business as a ladder to reach the next step of success. While it’s important for businesses to stay optimistic and positive, they should also stay close to the reality.
Recommended Reading: How to Protect Your Business from Partnership Conflicts
A business partner should be like ‘other half’ in your business relationship where you are the first ‘half’, and you two together should complement each other. He should be willing to give the same efforts, work and time to the business as you do, and you should be able to respect him and his inputs as a partner.