Some things in life don't always work out the way you would hope they do. The same can be said about partnerships. Sometimes a lack of communication between partners or an inflexibility of goals or approaches can put a real strain on any partnership. If you're forewarned about a situation you can better prepare the business and seek legal help if necessary.
What are the signs of a bad partner?
There are a few signs you can look out for if you feel as though your partnership may not be working.
If you're having a lack of communication with your partner, or if the communication you're receiving isn't clear, it can be a sign that the partnership isn't working. If the communication isn't clear from the outset, it's likely that it won't get any better as time goes on, so it can be a sign that you need to cut your losses before the going gets tough.
Misaligned Mission and Vision
If you and your partner set out with different ideas of where the partnership should go, you'll find that the business is in a constant state of flux. This can affect the ways in which you'll be working and the effectiveness of your business to provide a good level of service to your clients.
If you ask your partner a question, and certain parts of it are avoided, even asking in numerous different ways, it could be a signal that something isn't right. You want to work with a partner that answers questions no matter what you're asking. Otherwise, they could be hiding something from you.
A Lack of Responsibility
No one is 100% perfect all of the time and things may go wrong. This is a fact of life, but if your partner can't admit responsibility for their mistakes, it's likely they aren't the best fit for you. You need a team that can hold themselves accountable for their actions while helping your business grow and succeed.
Talking Down to Others
If your partner spends a lot of time talking down about your competition or former clients, it's a sign that your partnership won't work out. If they're willing to talk down about former clients to you, it's likely they are going to talk patronisingly about you to others. It could also make them a difficult person to work with.
No Focus on Mutual Success
If your partner is only focusing on their success and not that of the business or the other partners involved, it's likely that it's a one-way situation. This isn't conducive to having a good partnership. A good partnership should discuss the benefits and goals from both points of view, otherwise, it won't work.
Focussing on Grievances
Any business partner that only talks about grievances with past employees or partners should be a cause for concern. Everyone does something like this to some extent, but when it's relentless, it should be a cause for concern. It could indicate that they are the cause of the problem and not the other parties concerned.
If your partner is eager to get started, the odds are this will get worse when you're in the full swing of things. They may be micromanagers who will leave everything to the last minute on their end and then expect you to finish things ASAP on your end.
Not Respecting Your Time
If you have a partner that doesn't respect your time and is constantly late to meetings or re-arranging at the last minute, it doesn't bode well for the partnership. Being lazy with time can be a sign that they are not respectful and don't really care about the time of others.
If you feel as though any of the partners in your partnership are acting in the ways mentioned above, it may be a warning that the partnership isn't going to work out. If you notice any early warning signs, talk to your partner about them and try to resolve the issues, if they still persist after this conversation, it may be time to pull the plug on the partnership.