A strong business relationship can lay the foundation for years of future success. However, as is the case for all relationships, identifying who you partner with in business can be challenging. Pick the wrong person, and you could be locked into a long-term relationship that costs you more than it’s worth.
To avoid this fate, it’s helpful to know what to look out for when forming a business relationship. Keep reading for a list of relationship red flags that you can use to make a smarter decision about who you partner with.
An Inability to Compromise
Compromise is the foundation of a healthy relationship. When two people work, live, or form friendships with one another, they’re never going to agree about everything. As disagreements begin filtering in, you want to work with someone who is capable of seeing your point of view.
One of the biggest business relationships red flags is a partner who is incapable of doing this.
People who can’t compromise, are going to make work challenging. They’re going to demand they get their way at all times. This may lead to you feeling like you’re working for them instead of in a mutually beneficial partnership. Save yourself the headache and don’t form a partnership with someone who never compromises.
Early Communication Challenges
It’s incredibly difficult to work with someone you can’t talk to. That’s why proper communication is one of the cornerstones of a successful business partnership. If you’re just getting started with a partner and they exhibit problematic communication traits, you may want to skip out on the relationship altogether.
There are a few ways this can manifest. First, your partner may take much longer than you would expect to respond to your requests. This indicates your partnership isn’t high on their priority list. Or, your partner may provide you with inconsistent and incomplete information. If you notice this happen at the beginning of your partnership, chances are it will only get worse as time goes on.
Vastly Different Values
Business partners are always going to have some differences in the values they hold dear. However, working with someone who has an entirely different set of values than you do can be extremely challenging.
A business is only as strong as the vision its founders have for it. If your vision conflicts with your partner’s, you’re always going to be at odds with one another. The discontent may not show itself immediately, but it’s bound to pop up again and again as you move forward with your project.
Finances will form the lifeblood of your company. The modern business environment is extremely competitive. Without strong financials, your project will never turn into what you envision. A partner who thinks about finances differently than you do will grow increasingly difficult to work with as time goes on.
One particularly dangerous example to look out for is a partner who has a history of poor financial decisions. You can identify this by looking out for a history of poor credit decisions, bankruptcies, or even being banned from running businesses. If any of these topics come up while you’re forming a new business partnership, it’s best to terminate the relationship immediately.