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Business Partners and Money – The Importance of Clear Dialog

Running a business is definitely not easy. There are a lot of obstacles to overcome in the highly competitive world of commerce, and these problems have the potential to rear their ugly heads on a daily basis.

There’s no avoiding them, so the only option is to plow through them. These problems can be exponentially increased by having a business partner.

Depending on what type of business you’re going to run, having a business partner can be a wise move. However, it’s also dangerous. You must maintain an open and clear dialog with your partner at all times. If not, you can be in for a host of difficulties. A partner is a person who shares or is associated with your business. This means their problems are your problems and likewise. It also means that you and your partner share equal responsibility for this business, thus creating twice the potential for failure if mismanaged.

What are some of the negative things that can happen?

On the lighter side, your business partner may decide that he or she wishes to take the business in a different direction. If you’re not keeping an open dialog with your partner, you may not even be aware of this until it is too late to stop.

Your partner could decide to take on different marketing ventures or to try out new products. This could lead to cost overrun and even complete business collapse unless you’re both fully involved in the decision making process.

While your partner is planning on moving in one direction, you’re moving in the opposite direction and your business starts to unravel at a fast rate. There is a way to stop this, and that’s by always remaining close with your partner. See that the relationship is working well and always work to compromise on any and all business decisions.

On the darker end of the spectrum, what happens when your business partner decides that more of the money belongs to them? This could lead to embezzlement or, at the least, decisions made of pettiness that could cause complete business failure.

By keeping an open dialog with your partner, you’ll be in a prime position to spot any shady dealings. You’ll know if your partner is unsatisfied and looking to make something extra. These are problems that can be avoided.

If you find yourself having to constantly placate your business partner, then it’s probably time to dissolve the business relationship. You shouldn’t have to pander or bend to a partner’s will. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t give up some ground to help the relationship.

An unhappy partner can be a recipe for disaster. Whether it’s a minor decision like a slight change of direction or a major decision concerning the business’s funds, you can remain one step ahead of these problems by opening and maintaining dialog with your partner.

Business is an ongoing process, and it’s always important to stay close with your partner.

Are You Accountable in Your Business?

When you run your own sole trader business, you are the boss, the decision maker and the employee all wrapped into one. In effect, you are a neat package who designs, markets, sells and grows your business.

As you manage your business with its hectic pace together with a personal aim to achieve success, who holds you accountable for the decisions you make or the changes that take place? Who questions you when you move away from your original goal post or when you embark on a new direction? Do you?

We’ve all come to a point in our business when we have to face the reality of a certain situation. This may be something such as poor cash flow, lack of new customers, or too much work to complete. Have you given yourself an opportunity to step back from your business and really look at what is happening? Have you made a responsible decision as a result or do you carry on blindly and ignore the problem? It will keep occurring if you continue on the same path…

Who holds you accountable for what you do and how you do it? Among your business contacts and support circle who can you turn to? Do you have access to a business coach? Do you regularly discuss your business ups and downs with fellow business owners? Without bursting your egocentric business bubble, the longer you ignore the reality of a situation the worse it will become.

Think back to your pre one man band business days when you were employed in a corporate environment or as an employee of a SME. Generally, you would have had access to someone with whom you could discuss issues, ideas or problems. This person enabled you to sound off your opinion, make suggestions and help you arrive at a resolution.

Now in your capacity as a sole trader, access to this kind of communication and support needs to be sourced outside your business. Ask for the support and advice from a business coach or trusted colleague who will provide you with an opportunity to discover more clarity and focus about whatever situation arises. Talking to someone who listens and guides you through the roller coaster ride of business life gives you a chance to gain a clearer and unbiased view on ways to resolve or improve.

Accountability is vital for the successful growth of any business. Without it goals will not be reached, progress will be stifled by process, and complacency will star in the leading role. Don’t neglect the “you” in your business, as without you there will be no business. Adopt an attitude to hold yourself accountable with help, support and guidance.