Starting a business with a trusted friend or family member is a dream for many people. If you enter into a partnership with someone you know, you are probably looking forward to a bright and lucrative future.
However, there are some issues you must consider first. According to Kiplinger, properly handling partnership conflicts is key to business success. Here are a few tips on how to alleviate issues before they begin.
Decide on how you will finance the business
Financial issues are major sources of conflict. They can also affect the business if you are unable to bring together sufficient funds to get the partnership off the ground. Sources of capital include business loans, retirement funds, credit cards, and personal assets. Have a frank discussion about these different options and which one works best for you, both personally and professionally.
Establish the division of labor early on
You should go into the partnership knowing your responsibilities and obligations. Your partner should also know the same. This reduces conflict and confusion surrounding who is responsible for what duties. Also, have a conversation about how these responsibilities may change, such as if one of you falls ill or if one person has more experience with a certain client.
Have a plan for disagreements and disputes
Despite your best efforts, you will still disagree with your partner from time to time. While an equal say from each partner seems like the most equitable course of action, it can actually cause more conflict due to the stalemate it causes. Instead, consider giving one partner the option to decide when conflicts arise. You can also relegate decision-making based on expertise, with the more experienced partner being the one with the last word on a given subject.
No matter what strategy you use, being open and transparent about your business relationship is best. You should also address all matters as soon as possible, instead of letting them linger until more damage occurs.