Entering into a business partnership is like starting a professional marriage. Both parties must be aligned in vision, goals and operational ethics for their shared opportunity to have the best chances of success.
Yet, even the most harmonious business relationships can face disputes that can either break a partnership or offer a chance for growth. Understanding effective methods for dealing with these challenges can, therefore, be beneficial for anyone who is involved in a business partnership.
Communication is key
The most straightforward path to resolution is often open and honest communication. Like any relationship, solid business partnerships are built on trust and understanding. In the event of contention, avoid the blame game and focus on the core issues that are causing friction.
Types of disputes and resolution tactics
Disputes can range from financial disagreements to different visions for a company’s future. Financial conflicts are often easier to navigate because they are typically objective. You can look at numbers, contracts and agreements to come to a mutually agreeable resolution.
Disputes over the business’s direction are more subjective and may require a more nuanced approach. Ideally, you’ll have related discussions away from employees so that they won’t be privy to the issues that are at the center of the problem.
Create a dispute resolution plan
One proactive step that partners can take is establishing a dispute resolution plan as part of their initial partnership agreement. Having a predetermined method for handling disputes can make the process less stressful and more straightforward, offering a framework that all parties have agreed upon.
Ultimately, the fate of the business may be on the line if a partnership dispute arises. Determining viable options and deciding what to do might be a challenge, so you and your partner may benefit from seeking legal guidance and support accordingly.