Few relationships are as delicate as the one between business partners. After all, you’re not just working together—you’re also sharing profits (or losses). This is why it’s important to be able to get along with your partner. Unfortunately, butting heads is inevitable.
Still, there are ways to make sure the relationship is one of mutual respect and even friendship. Here are a few tips for getting along with your business partner.
Make Individual Duties Clear
One of the most common sources of tension between business partners is a lack of clarity regarding who is responsible for what. You and your partner might have very different ideas about who should be handling what tasks, from securing business capital to hiring senior staff, which can lead to frustration and even resentment, learn about what is FICA on your paystub.
To avoid this, it’s important to sit down and come to an agreement about who is responsible for what from the very beginning. That way, there’s no confusion or ambiguity about who should be doing what.
Create (and Stick to) Ground Rules
When you’re first starting out, it can be helpful to create a set of ground rules that you and your partner both agree to. This can include things like how you will make decisions, and what the consequences will be if either of you breaks the rules.
So an example of a ground rule can be that both partners must agree on any large purchases or investments.
Creating these ground rules early on can help prevent conflict down the road. And if disagreements do arise, you can always refer back to the ground rules to help resolve them.
Learn to Communicate Properly
Miscommunication is another common source of tension between business partners. This is often because people communicate differently—some people are more direct, while others are more indirect.
For example, one person might think that saying “I’m not sure about that idea” is a way of being polite. But the other person might interpret it as an attack on their competence.
To avoid this, it’s important to communicate properly. This means being aware of how you communicate with each other and making an effort to understand each other’s communication styles. It also means being open to feedback.
Make Time for Regular Check-Ins
Even if you have a great relationship with your business partner, it’s important to make time for regular check-ins. This is because things can change over time, and what worked in the past might not work now.
During these check-ins, you can discuss how things are going, any changes that have been made, and any new challenges you’re facing. This is a good opportunity to make sure that you’re still on the same page and to make adjustments if you’re not.
Fostering a healthy relationship with your business partner is key to the success of your venture. By making individual duties clear, creating and sticking to ground rules, keeping the lines of communication open, and making time for regular check-ins, you can ensure that you and your partner always get along—no matter what challenges you face.