You and your business partner have worked together for a few years now, and you want this business to thrive. You're not sure if staying with the same partner is the key to making that happen. You've seen too many red flags, and you think it may be time to end this professional relationship.
It's a tough move to make. You both got into this together. You wish you could go back in time to the day when you launched and everything felt positive and optimistic. But you can't ignore your concerns, which could ruin everything you worked for.
What are some of these red flags? They may include things like:
- They constantly tell you things that turn out not to be true, or they always change their stories. The information just is not consistent, and you worry that you can't trust them. It sounds like they're making excuses or changing details to make themselves look better.
- They're hard to get in touch with. They take days just to return a text message. They never answer the phone. When they do communicate with you, the delays between communications are huge.
- You just have a gut feeling. When you talk to them, something feels wrong. Maybe there are a lot of little signs -- body language, tone of voice, etc. -- that all add up. You cannot put your finger on one thing, but you just do not feel comfortable with the partnership anymore.
- They always blame someone else. If something goes wrong, it's never their fault. They will not take responsibility for it. They blame you or a third party, but they never just apologize and try to fix it.
- They won't talk about the financial side of your plans. You worry about the budget, but they just want to charge forward as if you have all of the money in the world.
- They give you the old bait and switch on agreements. You tell them to do one thing, in person, and they agree to it. Then they do something else and try to say that it's what they thought you wanted. While honest mistakes happen, a trend like this shows that they do not respect your role.
- You do not share the same values. For instance, maybe you want to give the customers the best possible product that you can. You value loyalty. They want to cut corners to save money. While you don't want to be reckless with money, it's clear you have different goals.
If you do decide to end your business partnership, make sure you know what steps to take and what rights you have. You need to protect yourself and your company during this process.