81 Strategies To Fix A Bad, Falling Apart Business Partnership

Published by Mike Michalowicz (Google+)

How To Become An Entrepreneur

1. Get It In Writing!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: I just had what feels like a big betrayal happen to me a few weeks ago. It was with a "spiritual sister" so we had a verbal agreement. However she now says that she was just "thinking out loud and that it really wasn’t an agreement". So my big, big lesson is to get everything in writing!

Thanks To: Debra Smith of The Sensuality Sage

2. Communication Is Key

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Think about what you want out of the partnership; what are you goals, what did you agree to do in the beginning and how has that changed, how do you behave and how does your partner’s behavior make you feel? Remember that each of you brings different qualities to the organization. Discuss these issues with your partner head-on. If that’s not possible, bring in a business coach to help lead the discussion. Failure is not a very good option, so try to find a solution that works for both.

Thanks To: Chris Gattis of Blue Point Strategies, LLC

3. Break Up With Grace

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: The key to ending a business partnership? Clear, clean, non-emotionally charged communication. If you are willing to end the relationship, don’t dwell on what went wrong. Just figure out how to get out gracefully. If you want to give it another go, spell out what needs to happen for both of you to make it work.

Thanks To: Ann Ronan of Authentic Life Institute

4. Honesty Pays Off

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: A partnership must be equally good for both parties. It is not uncommon for one side to start to feel taken advantage of – or just feel it is not working out. Honesty is always best. Tell the person up front that it is not working out, give them the opportunity to fix it. If that does not work then move on. Like any relationship – it is not the end of the world.

Thanks To: Dotty Scott of Premium Websites

5. Get Thee To An Intermediary

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: When business partners begin regretting the partnership outside help should be brought in to access whether the partnership is in the best interest of the business. Entrepreneurs must remember that they are not the business. When ego gets into business most businesses go south. When two egos are involved the ship sinks even faster. A mediator gives each partner an opportunity to express what they really want from the business and learn whether what they want is a fit for the business.

Thanks To: Vicki Donlan of VickiDonlan

6. Getting Out Of Bad Partnership

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Anticipate the problem and write into the partnership agreement (or corporate bylaws) that either party may buy out the other at any time upon presentation of a formal offer PROVIDED that the offering party is willing to sell for the exact same amount and terms. Sort of like the old "you cut the sandwich in half but I get to choose which half I want" strategy. Tends to produce fair offers with a built in mechanism for getting out of a bad deal. Actually used it once and it worked great.

Thanks To: Tim Barry of ITI Web Stores

7. Take A Trip Down Memory Lane..

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Partnerships can become less than "productive" and happy over time…in business or personal life. In times like this, all parties need to look back on what was right in the beginning…when all the ideas and hopes were fresh and new. If the entity is worth saving, then those parties need to do what is right for the business and move on. Life is too short to continue in a "sour relationship" that may hurt the business in the long run. As we say in Florida..Keep fishing or cut bait.

Thanks To: Jamie Stern of AllergiesAndMe.com

8. Due Diligence Key To Partners

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: If an entrepreneur wants a successful partnership then due diligence is key. Take time to build rapport, have exploratory discussions and be willing to be more self-revealing for greater success. It’s important to share goals, intentions, values, ideals, investigate credentials and deepen a relationship before partnering. Ideally done, it doesn’t require an exorbitant amount of time or energy. It takes a willingness to be thorough and complete before making a decision about a partner.

Thanks To: Patricia Weber of Business Coach for Introverts & Shy

9. Everyone Wants Success!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Go back to your original written agreement so that you can both remind yourselves of your rights and responsibilities. Second, have a very civil meeting with your partner.Civility and professionalism are very important,even if you have to swallow some ego. Isolate why the partnership is falling apart. Without doubt, you’ll find that the problems are occurring because one partner is unwilling or unable to live up to their responsibilities.

Thanks To: Jenn Lederer of AFST Management

10. Inform The Clients

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: The first thing you should do is to inform the clients that you and your ex-partner are not partners any more and you won’t be responsible for any transactions they’ll do with him. Ask them to take a decision about with whom they would like to work with in future.

Thanks To: Gagandeep Singh of Promotional Products

11. Communicate Without Emotions

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: When a business partnership is falling apart, reevaluate each partner’s responsibilities, rights and obligations to the company. Honest communication must occur to arrive at an agreement. Since the success of the business is in the best interest of both partners, a mutual agreement must be achieved to determine the next step. Each partner needs to figure out what they want and how to reach it. Ideally, a well-defined articles of incorporation, that outlines an exit strategy, would be perfect.

Thanks To: Mark Hall of Input Ladder

12. Face The Music

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: When partnerships cease to be functional, return to your original plan, review all documents and face the music. Now is not the time for denial or wishful thinking or hoping things will get better. This is the time to speak with legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected as well as the business relationships. Failure to face the music will cost you money and emotions. Put a new plan in place to move forward and remember to stay positive.

Thanks To: Leanne Hoagland-Smith of ADVANCED SYSTEMS

13. Put Everything In Writing!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: It took over six years to have my initial partnership fall apart but the one piece of advice I would give is to make sure you record everything. Keep track of discussions — follow up in writing to one another so you have a paper trail of what you’ve agreed to and what is still open. Whatever plans or next steps or agreements you discuss, write it all down. Record what is still open, too and needs to be discussed. Do not assume anything, do not rely on verbal discussions — confirm and record.

Thanks To: Beverly Flaxington of The Collaborative

14. Acknowledge It

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: There will be many small moments in which you realize you are a poor team, so before things get ugly, sit down and discuss. Similar to working out a relationship, try and change the things that may be wrong in your partnership so you can work successfully. If not, devise a way either one of you can be bought out or act as a silent partner.

Thanks To: Piper Smith of Museum Way Pearls

15. Don’t Get The Divorce Too Soo

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Just like a marriage, a business partnership has ups and downs, don’t throw in the towel until you have really given it a shot! Communicate, communicate, communicate. Why did you go into business with this person in the first place? Revisit those strengths. Discuss, talk, argue if you must–but give them the dignity of long frank talk instead of wrong assumptions or miscommunication. If it’s over, well then it’s over–but make the decision together and leave as friends if at all possible.

Thanks To: Sandy Wheeler of Sandy Wheeler Travel Specialties

16. Get A Marriage Counselor

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Having started and sold 3 businesses, Diamond Dynamic is my 4th startup, the one tip I can give you when a partnership starts to fail is get outside help.

Partnerships are like a marriage and when they start to sour, the combatants are not thinking clearly. All the hurts, frustrations and etc. are added to the mix, making rational decisions impossible.

At the first sign of trouble hire a good business consultant, arbitrator or lawyer who can offer unbiased, objective advice.

Thanks To: Michael Johnson of Diamond Dynamic

17. President

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: The One best thing to do when your business partnership is falling apart is to step away from the moment, reflect on all of the reasons you started the partnership with this particular person and see if there is anything you can and or are willing to do to save it. If not; learn from the lesson and move/grow on.

Thanks To: Rene Beaulieu of SECURaGLOBE Solutions Inc

18. Maybe Time To Fly Solo

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: All partnerships can be cultivated, constructed and reevaluated with simple talk and communication. If differences in status of terms from origin are expressed and resolve can not be reached, it may be time to fly solo. Surrender, let go and wish the other well. Goodbye………


19. Gratitude Over Bad Mooditude

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: When your business partnership is falling apart, chances are… so are you! It’s a perfect time to go back to your Ideal Partner Wish List and see just how much of what you asked for in your partner you actually received. If this list doesn’t yet exist, there’s no better time than now to jot down the complementary personality traits, and relevant skills, knowledge and experience you want in that Perfect Partner. Then compare notes with your partner with an attitude of gratitude, not mooditude

Thanks To: Monique MacKinnon of Energetic Evolution

20. Bitten By The Agenda Bug

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Let’s face it, partners are for dancing! But if you’ve found yourself in a business partnership that is falling apart, the best thing you can do is revisit your agenda(s). Things go awry when the agendas differ. I like to call it "the agenda rule". We all have one, yet each is different. If you and your partners’ agendas are different, one shows up for a scheduled meeting at Starbucks while the other’s waiting at Peaberrys. Either way you’re both late.

Thanks To: Jennifer Thompson of Chainje

21. Talk!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: If your business partnership is falling apart, the one most beneficial things you can do is to talk. Business partnerships, like marriages, often suffer from communication break-down. If you want to salvage the situation, open up those lines of communication and get to the bottom of what’s bothering each of you. You started with common goals, what happened along the way? Are you harboring resentments? Be honest with each other and see if you can bridge the gap before giving up on it.

Thanks To: Susan Martin of Business Sanity

22. Make It Work Or Move On…

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Seriously, there’s no third option, you have to either make it work or move on and I incline for the latter… For a simple reason that if its not working now, chances are it will only get worse from here and eventually hurt the business and reputation of all the partners. Isn’t it better to cut the cords and move on?

Thanks To: Devesh Dwivedi of Entrepreneur In Making

23. Don’t Burn Bridges!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: In my opinion, the best thing to do when a business partnership is falling apart is to try to talk things out–with a neutral party, if necessary. However, if things just aren’t meant to be, it’s best to make a clean break to avoid losing whatever friendship you may have left. It’s never good to burn bridges in business relationships, as word always seems to get around and could influence future possibilities for both partners–and no one needs that.

Thanks To: Kim Smith of Dramatic Design

24. Look At Your Map

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: You don’t take a trip to a new place without a map and you shouldn’t take off on a partnership without a formal agreement. Regardless of how excited you are about moving forward, take time to draft a business agreement spelling out how things will proceed when things are going well and what might casue a break up and how that might be dealt with. When trouble appears, discuss it right away. Every partnership should have a conflict process and an escape clause. The agreement is your prenup!

Thanks To: Joni Daniels of Daniels & Associates

25. Not Balanced….?

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: I’m that Entrepreneur that went into business with a partner. There was that constant feeling that she didn’t want it as much, or I was putting way more into than she was. After about 2 years, I came clean to bring it up to my partner that it was not balanced. She agreed and said she didn’t have the spirit for being an entrepreneur. We were lucky and didn’t have any contracts in place. We just remained friends and that was it. Therefore, the ONE best thing is to BE HONEST & upfront!

Thanks To: Susan Vernicek of S&J Identity, Inc. – Identity Magaz

26. It’s Like A Marriage!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Going into business with a business partner is like being in a marriage. Issues will come up and it will seem like things are falling apart, but you ALWAYS have to talk about it!

I’ve had hitches occur with my various business partners over the years, but have always managed to talk about it. So when you think about picking a business partner, pick someone that you can always talk to.

Thanks To: Mo Nariani of Joe Green Home Solutions Inc.

27. Confrontation Ain’t Always Ba

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Partnership is in fact relationship! If the partnership is worth salvaging, invest 100% effort (including looking at YOU and understanding how you contributed to the downfall) in salving it and making it work. However, if it’s a no-go, start the performance review and the termination meeting: be clear about expectations that were set and not met, why the separation must occur, expectations for post-relationship behavior and make the break-up clear and decisive. No regrets, only lessons learned!

Thanks To: John Haynes of Regeneration! Life & Biz Coaching

28. Breaking Up Silver Lining

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: When your business relationship goes south, end the relationship as soon as possible. Shake his hand and wish him well, because you will now have a lot of work to do as a sole proprietor.

Ending your relationship will set you back a bit, but immediately set your eyes on taking that big leap forward by reaching out to your former and current clients and offering them a product or service that is both bigger and better than any of your products in the past.

Thanks To: Alexis Avila of Prepped & Polished

29. Structured Thinking

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: While partnerships may seem natural, they can be a really hard business model to pull off. When there is no ultimate decision maker, but two (or more) with equal say, it can lead to a stalemate.

My best advice is to simply avoid straight partnerships and have a reasonable division of power and equity. And make sure this is all clear from day one of the venture.

Thanks To: Alison Moore Smith of Easy Blog Setup

30. Partnerships Are Like Marriage

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: The best thing to do if your partnership is falling apart is to speak with a mediator immediately. Partnerships are like a marriage & require a lot of effort to make them work. Pick the right mediator because your business depends on it!

Thanks To: Julie Fogg of Active Port

31. Becoming Partner-wise

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: The collective horror stories of partnerships going awry would keep any sane entrepreneur from even trying. I also had to pull away before things went decidedly south. My lessons are: Share the same vision, build business slowly to avoid gaps, share work-life balance or all parties will be miserable, never give away 50% or you lose control, plan goals together, document everything, know and stick to your roles, if it still does not work out, graciously part ways. Lastly, keep your integrity!

Thanks To: Elinor Stutz of Smooth Sale, LLC

32. Employ A Contengency Clause

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: A good business attorney has established a way for the partners to separate in a painless and not very harmful way at the option of either party. If you don’t have such an agreement while you are getting along, write one. If you do have one, use it. A possible solution might be to take a 50-50 partnership and turn it into a 100 percent owned marketing business serving a 100 percent owned service provider, with performance guarantees. If performance isn’t there, you are free to find someone else.

Thanks To: Donald Mitchell of The 400 Year Project

33. Talk (a Lot)

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: When your business partnership is falling apart, the worst thing to do is not to talk about it. Therefore the best thing to do is just talk – have a honest conversation with your partner(s). Do not hold yourself back and expect the same in return. After all the worst outcome of that conversation is the the business failing. It is going to happen anyways if you don’t talk about it.

Thanks To: Slav Ivanov of Socially Apps

34. Get It In Writing!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: My best tip for when a partnership starts to fail is to be sure EVERYTHING is in writing. Oftentimes, once you start actually working with someone, you realize that you aren’t a good partnership match. That is why it is so important that everything be in writing- emails, meeting notes, contracts, etc. No matter how well think you know a person, so NOT EVER think that you can skip this important step. Furthermore, having things in writing will make it easier when the partnership dissolves.

Thanks To: Dawn Veselka of Out of the Blue Delivered

35. Cut Your Losses Quickly!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: When my partnership failed last year I found it best to cut my losses quickly. This meant telling my under-performing (and mostly undermining) partner that he had to go. In my case, my partner (who had limited buy-in but maximum exposure) was glad to go without requesting a cut of assets. However, in most cases an attorney should be consulted, and the partnership may need to be dissolved. BOTTOM LINE: Don’t wait to act! Your credibility and viability could be affected by delaying the inevitable

Thanks To: Allison Cease of I-Beam Management Associates

36. Hope For The Best, Plan For Th

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: In any partnership, when things begin to go badly, for the sake of your good name, your integrity, your customers and your credit, you must first take steps to protect yourself. Get your own attorney and document everything. If you can, separate assets before things go horribly wrong. In this way you will have access to merchandise and corporate cash in order to stay in business in some form.

Thanks To: Jeff Schoener of Neuro-Enhancement Strategies

37. Get It In Writing And Get Out!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Get it in writing. I don’t care how well you know X, how long you have known X, if X is related by blood or marriage or went to Harvard Business School. The number one thing is to get to an attorney, draw up papers of dissolution, and get separated. Clean, quick, legal and in black and white. Put all details in the contract; don’t leave anything to chance or to the machinations of X. Once every detail is in writing, all will be well. If not…caveat emptor et cave canem: buyer beware of X!

Thanks To: Doula Angelita of Resurgam BirthingWell8899

38. Move On With Dignity

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: People get divorced, partnerships end, but the smart people know that maintaining a relationship with the partner will enable both of you to succeed and assist each other. Unless the partner turned out to be an ax murderer or embezzler they have attributes and skills you valued and vice versa. Develop a mutually agreeable split that allows you both to move forward yet still be able to attend the same functions and know the same people. Doing that models excellence.

Thanks To: Harriet Cohen of Training Solutions

39. When The Partnership Fails

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: A partnership is like a marriage. Choose your partners wisely. Have everything spelled out in a contract prepared with the help of legal counsel. When the partnership fails, take steps to protect yourself by seeking legal advice. Let it go, don’t be bitter and don’t strike back. Remember – "Karma is a powerful thing."

Thanks To: Esther Denn of eDenn Property Management, Inc.

40. Know The Outcome You Want

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Admit It’s Not Working! Admit it to all parties involved. Know what you want to change before you begin. See if any one agrees that a change is needed.

Find out what the other parties think!

Find a way to separate so that the least harm is done to all parties!

This is not the end of the world it’s a new beginning for everyone.

Thanks To: Jim Plouffe of www.BusinessConsultingThatWorks.com

41. Abort Will Rogers, Abort!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: The best of marriages and friendships can quickly dissolve when turning that into a business relationship. You know the phrase about throwing good money after bad. You really need to know when to make the decision to disengage. The longer it goes on, the more money and partner equity is involved and the more complicated it becomes. You can usually tell within the first year if this is a partnership that will work. If you see it is not, abort now, rather than later. You’ll be glad you did!

Thanks To: Craig Wolfe of CelebriDucks

42. Catch It Early…

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Hire a Coach! Seriously. In any relationship, whether business or personal, people wait too long before attempting to resolve their issues. Then it’s usually too late. A lot of times, there are issues of communication, style and control. Properly facilitated over time with both partners willing to work on the relationship and learn new partnering skills, not only is there hope but there’s a good chance of a positive, profitable future.

Thanks To: Tiffany Young of SmartStuff! Training and Coaching

43. I Cut, You Choose

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: If it’s really time to pull the plug and there are hopefully still some remaining assets one fair and equitable way to distribute them is "I cut/You choose". One partner divides the assets as evenly as possible. The other then chooses which half (s)he wants. Sometimes just knowing that this is the ultimate resolution will encourage partners to act more responsibly. This strategy becomes slightly more complicated with more than two partners but is completely scalable.

Thanks To: Scott Degraffenreid of We Did The Math

44. Get Counsel

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: When a partnership of any form goes bad, you need to speak with an attorney first to understand you rights and responsibilites and your partner’s rights and responsibilities. Do not make a move until you understand the situation completely.

Thanks To: JR Rodrigues of Job Hunt Express

45. Seriously, Get A Lawyer

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Get an attorney that specializes in these matters, not a do all but knows nothing attorney. Do it before it’s too late. The damage to you as a partner are beyond imigaination: bad credit, bad health, lost relationships & customers, potential lawsuits and on and on. It’s not worth the risk; when things really go sour cut your losses, learn from the experience and start over again. Do your reserch, what went wrong and why. You’ll do even better next time as long as you learned your lesson!

Thanks To: Edwin Soler of Libreria Berea

46. Talk It Out

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: From personal experience, when you find yourself suddenly at odds with someone you like and trusted enough to go into business with, the issue is usually a lack of communication. It’s easy to get sidetracked from the goals you set when you went into business together as the daily grind takes its toll. Sitting down and making sure everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal helps. Get a neutral mediator if needed.

Thanks To: Anthony Adams of The Hangover Cure

47. Partnership Agreements

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Communicate with your partner to find a solution that works for both partners. This communication should include discussing options for separating or dissolving the business based on your Partnership Agreement. Put yourself in the other person’s position to understand how they feel and what solutions would satisfy them. If you don’t have a Partnership Agreement, be sure your discussions and final resolution are recorded in writing.

Thanks To: Steve Sponseller of Innovation Strategies, Inc.

48. Always Get It In Writing!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: If your business partnership is falling apart, get all your ducks in a row. Gather our signed partnership agreement, any bills owed by the partnership and stop incurring business bills under the partnership. Protect yourself and limit your risk.

Thanks To: Michelle Dunn of Michelle Dunn, writer

49. Be Upfront And Honest

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: It’s tough going into a new business with a partner. Things can be going great but you might run into some disagreements and start to not communicate with each other. The best thing you can do is just be up front and honest with them before you terminate the partnership. At least try and figure out what’s making the partnership fail and then you can at least know what the problems are. Then decide for yourself is this is someone you should stay in business with or if it was miscommunication.

Thanks To: Ashley Bodi of BusinessBeware.Biz

50. Stick A Fork In Me I’m Done.

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Facts don’t cease to exist just because you ignore them and neither do bad partnerships. The one best thing to do when your business partnership is falling apart is to get honest, factual, real and specific with yourself in what you require/desire and communicate that with the partner. Re-engineered or dissolved a partnership which works for no one, truly, works for no one. Get real, get communicating, take measureable action based on mutual decisions and desired outcomes, move forward.

Thanks To: Cyn Liggett of Ko-ching

51. Identify The Breakdown

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: If a partnership is breaking down, the biggest thing to tackle is identifying the breakdown. Through very open and honest communication, pinpoint what exactly isn’t working.

Is it poor communication?
Is it one person not pulling their weight?
Is it a difference in spending styles?
Are the partners’ visions for the business conflicting?

From there, the next step plans can be made according to what has been identified.

Thanks To: Krista Dunk of Koinonia Business Women

52. It Takes Two-to Drive You Nuts

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: When I see business’s that are feuding with a partner or regretting their decision to share their business with someone The only thing that helps is the knowledge that I didn’t do it. Sure it twice the work and twice the responsibility and now and again I find myself saying geez I really wish I had someone helping me but lets face it us at the end of the day it’s nice to sit in your messy office and know you don’t have to answer to anyone else.

Thanks To: Michelle Littler of littletoad

53. Partnership Crash Prevention

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: When my good friend, who had been my boss for several years, and I went into business together, we had an honest discussion about how the business might affect our relationship. As boss/employee we had disagreements, but the relationship always took precedence, and we solved every issue effectively. As business partners, we’re on equal footing, but our original pact–friendship always comes first– is at the forefront during any difference of opinion. We’re still partners and great friends.

Thanks To: Susan Hawkins of The Shops at 24 SEven

54. Stop It. Or Focus

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: If it’s that bad, then you simply need to stop the partnership. This is especially true if it conflicts with your values. Remember, this will take more energy, by ruminating about it, worrying, staying up at night. If you can’t Stop It, then Focus. Figure out the 1 or 2 key areas you must maintain. Determine the guidelines of what you need to achieve–and no further. Listen to your SGI next time: Spiritual Gut Instinct, which always tells you the right thing to do. :)

Thanks To: Pamela Hawley of UniversalGiving

55. Communicate!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Talk to your partner at the first sign of a problem. Speak openly and honestly about your concerns. Specify actions or inactions that trouble you. Be open to alternatives and constructive criticism. Mind your manners as the two of you discuss the next steps. Be respectful and courteous. You don’t want to burn bridges. Your "ex"-partner may become your best referral.

Thanks To: Dale Little of Business Strategy Group

56. Hit And Run

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: The best thing to do is hit the panic button with the person and run the person out of the company, metaphorically speaking. In other words, if the partner is failing to do his or her share of the work, or is slowing your business down, or even causing it to fail, tell the person they aren’t working out and agree to a final settlement of cash and say goodbye. Why hang on to something that will put you in the ground.

Thanks To: Harry Husted of Creating Words

57. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Basically ….after avoiding them, ignoring their emails, eating lunch and not sharing…explain that the business model has changed and this company needs strengths in these specific areas..so its best to part ways…..

Good Luck..not pleasant but effective!

Thanks To: Jerry Pollio of CMT Creative Marketing

58. Saving A Friendship

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: It is always uncomfortable to face the truth of a partnership gone wrong. Act quickly, communicate with your partner about your concerns and differences and do not sit around hoping things will get better or just disappear. Not surprising, often both parties want to separate or dissolve the partnership.
Equally important is to part ways legally to ensure a clean break, so hiring an attorney is a must.

Thanks To: Linda Nagamine of EZ Living Connection LLC

59. Leveraging Blame

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: The best thing to do when your business partnership is falling apart is BLAME…yourself. Take 100-percent responsibility for every decision, no matter whose idea it was. Unless you’re perfect, practice being humble; it goes a long way toward viable resolution. Admit what is not working for you. Resist pointing fingers. Calmly, ask yourself and your partner, "Where can we go from here?" Listen to his ideas, state yours. Come to a clear agreement, put it in writing and both sign and date it.

Thanks To: Aysha Griffin of GreenRoads Realty, LLC

60. Team It!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Do not go it alone. Create a consulting team: Accountant, Lawyer, and even a Human Resource Specialist, if appropriate. Organize paper trail. Meet with team. Stay present. Plan strategy. Meet with exiting partner, to determine what kinds of attention he needs or wants and how this information impacts you. Listen carefully for clues to create workable negotiations. Meet with team to include discoveries in offering. Wants can often triumph needs. Recognition is vital and can mean more than cash!

Thanks To: Alice A March of The Attention Factor

61. You Got To Nip It In The Bud!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Nip it! Cut your losses. If you have major differences with the partner and you’ve tried to resolve them and it’s pretty clear no compromise will be reached, don’t assume the other party will wake up tomorrow and magically see things ‘your way’. End it, amicably if possible. Otherwise regret turns to resentment, then anger. With luck, you had the foresight to draw up a buyout agreement, the business equivalent of a pre-nup. If not, set aside your ego and negotiate an exit.

Thanks To: Paul Nadrowski of Get More In The Door Online Mktg.

62. Talk, Talk, And Talk Some More

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: When a business partnership is falling apart, you must talk, talk, and talk some more! It may be tempting to shut down communications with your partner. Don’t. Why? First, you may find that you can save the business with some effort. Second, if the partnership must end, communications about how to do it can save you time, money, and stress – and preserve business goodwill for what remains of your business or whatever venture comes next.

Thanks To: Jane Beddall of Dovetail Resolutions, LLC

63. Can This Marriage Be Saved?!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: The very first thing to do when your partnership begins to feel "rocky" is to hire a coach to see if the relationship can be saved and if not, who do we want to be as we gracefully dissolve it. I have coached several partnerships that were on the brink of throwing in the towel to see what was the reason they got together in the first place, to define their current individual and mutual pictures of success and create a new path that they can walk together to get there!

Thanks To: Ann Farrell of Quantum Endeavors, Inc.

64. Yank The Bandaid Off

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: If you are just starting to feel like the partnership is failing, it is probably further down the road than you think.

Use the old "Yank the bandaid off" (instead of pulling it off slowly) technique.

Sit down with your partner, tell him of your concerns and tell him/her you want to end the partnership while you are still friends.

Just do it quick and don’t talk yourself out of it.

Thanks To: Carl Forsell of Connections Planet

65. Keep Your Head Up

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: No matter what happens Keep Your HEAD Up.

The H is for Honesty. Don’t let the break up turn you to wicked ways.
The E is for Encouragement. Look to the good times that you shared instead of what’s causing the seperation.
The A is for Adjustments. If you make the right ones the business might be able to be saved.
The D is for Dreams. Never stop dreaming.

Thanks To: Derrick Hayes of WOE Enterprises

66. Know Thyself!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: It’s a tough situation with a lot of variables, but the one thing that is most important when a partnership is falling apart is to know thyself. Know your values, know the boundaries of your personal integrity. If the partner is just on your nerves or annoying, you might be able to tough-out a working truce – that’s really a practical business decision. However, if your partner is causing you to compromise your personal integrity then it’s time to get out, and get out fast!

Thanks To: David Cohen of Equation Arts

67. Been There…done That

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Partnerships are like marriages, you want to make it work in the beginning because it seems so right, and most commonly it benefits you.In reality, we try to force the situation, we are looking for the return… well guess what, it is no different then the marriage, if it’s not right, it’s not right! So I say, get out in the most amicable way possible and use your energy to focus on tomorrow! Don’t look back move forward.

Thanks To: Gregg Mulgrew of Card-logic

68. Protect Thyself

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Be wise and protect yourself legally in all respects. Make sure there’s closure in all signed documents so nothing comes back to bite you.

Thanks To: Michelle Hill of Winning Proof

69. Don’t Block Communication

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Remember when you were seven years old and you wanted to scream, "MOM!" because your younger brother was holding your arm behind your back and recall how he then clamped his other hand over your mouth, practically ending your short life? And recollect how you tried to bite him, but he cleverly kept adjusting the angle so that the worst you could do was make his hand disgustingly wet? Don’t put your hand over your collaborator’s mouth, or try to block any communication.

Thanks To: Sally Shields of The Daughter-in-Law Rules

70. Business Partnership Help

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: If you and your business partner are having trouble aligning your company’s growth, you need to consult with a third party to help work out the issues, create an action plan and get your business back on track and profitable.
A third party who can be objective, provide insight and workable options is the surest way to success for you and your business.

Thanks To: Janet Boulter of Center Consulting Group

71. Can We Talk?

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: On the onset of conflict between business partners, the best thing to do is to have the two partner sit down and talk. Talk. Not yell, scream, patronize, or blame. A mediator is optional. During the meeting, go over any agreement or articles of operations that were formed before the partnership. This can help in the resolution. If none exists, work together to find solutions. Then construct and sign an agreement that outlines and supports the business, and the business relationship.

Thanks To: Fran Briggs of Get Sponsored!

72. Stop, Drop And Roll!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Years ago I had a partnership go awry. The best thing to do is STOP! DROP! And ROLL!
STOP pretending. Have a partner meeting to re-visit expectations to see if you’re still the best fit for each other. DROP the excuses (and even the partnership) If it’s absolutely clear your partnership is OVER, be open, honest and define an exit strategy. (P.S. An exit strategy should be in your partnership agreement…you have one of those RIGHT?) ROLL forward. Get cracking on your biz!

Thanks To: Kim Duke of The Sales Divas

73. Plan Ahead

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Like any relationship, people usually go into a business partnership with the best of intentions. However, like a lot of relationships, there is often a falling out. The best thing to do when a business partnership is falling out is to have a written agreement PRIOR to getting into the partnership as to what do in case there is a falling out. This is the best way to ensure a clean separation without it getting too messy.

Thanks To: Eric Kates of MortgageLeads.com

74. Put The Law On Your Side

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Hopefully, at the onset of forming a business partnership, all parties involved would have participated in the development of a partnership agreement. When the partnership falls apart, the first step is to immediately review the partnership agreement and adhere to the terms. Attempt to settle the matter amicably. For smaller amounts of money, perhaps the matter can be settled in Small Claims Court. If more complicated issues are involved with large sums of capital, seek legal counsel.

Thanks To: Greg Jenkins of Bravo Productions

75. Don’t Fizzle Out On Everythin

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Yep, if you have built a company together starting from a dorm room, working day in day out, the most common thing you do in a fall out is to push the panic button.
You try to predict a lot of bad things about the firm’s future and start pushing your employees harder which is not needed as they are your core team after your partner and if denied of the right appreciation they will also leave you.
So stay calm and re-think strategies with the key guys{excluding the partner} of your team.

Thanks To: Akash Sharma of Revenue Strategy Solutions Ltd.

76. Communication Is Key

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Any conflict can be solved with good communication. Too often we tend to let things that bug us slide, but at what cost? In the end those little things grow into enormous things. Keeping the lines of communication open and honest is key in any relationship – business or personal.If things get too "hot" then bringing in an arbitrator is the next option. But never give up fully on a partnership until you’ve at least tried to work things out.

Thanks To: Theresa Gould of RobnT Business Solutions

77. As Sundering Goes…

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: All kinds of relationships are torn asunder when like-mindedness morphs into different viewpoints. Friends drift. People divorce. Athletes switch coaches. And partnerships split. When your business partnership starts to fall apart, get thee to a lawyer. Can’t afford one? Then draft what you think is an equitable split (assets & clients). Do this before the two of you stop talking to one another. Iron it out as soon as you can, as rationally as you can, before emotion rears its bellicose head.

Thanks To: Marlene Caroselli of Principled Persuasion

78. We Can’t Get No Satisfaction

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: If it all starts going wrong then.

1. Be adult
2. Face in to it
3. Agree actions
4. Seperate if necessary

Business partnership failure is like marriage failure. If you bury your head it just gets worse.

Thanks To: Marc Lawn of The Business GP

79. Get Out!!

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: As a practice, I do not form business partnerships, because I believe they are not in my best interest. I believe the Bible warns us about being partners with anyone in business. When you are someone’s partner, you gain their reputation, their work habits, their decisions affect you, and you share in profit or loss. So, I would recommend that anyone in a business partnership GET OUT IMMEDIATELY! Offer to buy the other partner out, or sell your portion, or cancel your contract.

Thanks To: Laura Aridgides of Thirty-One Gifts

80. Prevention Is Key

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: You would never get involved in a partnership with someone that you do not know, like or trust. Many people think it best to get involved with those they have a valuable relationship with. Why would you ever take the risk of putting your valuable relationship at risk for the sake of money. Business and money is an ugly place to place something you cherish. Instead, go at it on your own and hire the best people to be part of your support team. Learn from your mistakes and value your friends.

Thanks To: Savannah Ross of Rich Mom

81. Be Honest

A Fix To A Bad Business Partnership: Speaking from experience – more than once – The best tip I can offer is to be honest with them about what is not working to see if you can save the relationship. Sometimes we bring in partners when we feel they have more to contribute than they actually do. Be clear about what your roles are and see if you still want to "stay together". Most partnerships work best when each person knows their role and can be commended for their contribution. Everyone wants to be recognized for successes.

Thanks To: Sarah Shaw of Entreprenette

Compiled by Mike Michalowicz, Author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur

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Category: Recommendations, The Back Office, The Right Actions, Women Entrepreneurs
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  • Heather

    I would leave my last name, but I have a partner and we are struggling. I don’t want him/her thinking its me. But I wanted to leave a note, because this blog was VERY helpful. Thank you Mike and thank you to everyone for these tips. Things are going to change around here. Not going to be easy, but it is finally going to be right

    Thanks, Heather (not my real name)

    • http://www.ToiletPaperEntrepreneur.com Mike Michalowicz

      @Heather (or whatever your real name is) – You are very welcome.

      - Mike

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  • thiruppathy

    I enjoyed reading your blog ~ thanks for posting such useful content./Nice article and great photos. Very nicely done!
    Mold & Asbestos Service

  • Ahmet

    It makes it so hard when you go into a business with your best friend of 16 years and they get lazy and act like they don’t know their job. It is so frustrating when I get asked by my partner how to do something when we have done it a million times over the past 3 years. Even the employees and consultants we contract for see he is lazy and all he does is stand around and talk, takes extremely long breaks and argues with everyone.

    He also refuses to work without me, i’m assuming because he knows I will do all the work and he doesn’t have to think because he can just ask me. I also have the esteemed privilege of training all new employees (Just found that out today). I might as well be doing this myself and hiring people, at least if they worked like him i could can them.

    Alas he is literally my best friend and I can’t just quit. Although I think about it daily and wish to god we lost all our work and the business went under so I could start fresh on my own.

  • http://www.vortala.com Steve Anson

    Interesting but lots of conflicting advice here.  I think a business partnership is completely different to a marriage.  One is a covenant made under God the other is not. In a business partnership, 1 + 1 must equal 3 or, perhaps the best solution is to part friends and remember the good that came from your time working together.  

    • Mike Michalowicz

      Thanks Steve. Yes lots of conflicting advice… that is the idea. Everyone has their own experience on this one, and I wonder if there is really one “right” answer.

  • mury

    oohhh… thank you for providing such good suggestions.
    i have been so headache facing reality that partner i have worked with is really frustrating.. bullying many things. it’s very difficult to walk away when we are bounded by so many things.
    he’s trying to treating me in any ways..
    but at least now I feel a bit better after deciding to be apart…though ‘big homework’ waiting ..