The person or people with whom you go into business will have a major impact on your success and on how your business grows and changes over the years. Finding a business partner of even several partners with similar values and goals can help you turn an incredible idea into a thriving company.
Still, while you may have started off in total agreement about the business and your individual roles in it, either of you may change your ideas about what would be best for you or the company as time passes.
Just like spouses can grow apart over the years, so too can business partners find themselves no longer in agreement about what is best for the company. There are some warning signs that you and your business partner may soon need to dissolve your partnership.
You have a very different business timelines
Do you imagine selling your portion of the business and retiring in the next five years while your business partner intends to keep working and running the company indefinitely? Are you ready to move on to a new project, or has your business partner started hinting that the company needs to make major changes that you don’t agree with? If you and a business partner no longer agree on timing for major decisions, you may need to go your separate ways.
Your ideas about success no longer align
You may have agreed on specific metrics for judging the viability and success of your company when you first went into business, but those standards may no longer apply. Perhaps your partner wants to dominate your local industry, while you aspire to find a bigger company to purchase your brand. When you no longer have the same goals for the business, working together can become very difficult.
You have experienced interpersonal issues that impact your work
When you have so much of your life and finances mingled with someone else’s, conflicts can easily arise. Whether your business partner has started neglecting your friendship or you begrudge their habit of not picking up the tab when you dine together, interpersonal conflicts can mean that you may not work efficiently together anymore.
When it’s time to end a partnership, reviewing your partnership contract is usually a smart decision, as it may have guidance for how to dissolve your partnership. Getting help and protecting your own interests as well as the company’s during this difficult process will be of the utmost importance for you and the employees that depend on you.