Four Signs of a Bad Business Partner

In the business world, we can’t always do it alone. Forming business partnerships provides greater potential and possibilities, sourcing skills, insight, and capital from a variety of individuals instead of trying to put it all together on our own. This, of course, comes with some added risk – bringing partners into the fold means relying on more individuals to uphold their responsibilities.

Being attentive, accountable, consistent, and reliable are key aspects of being a good business partner, but what makes someone a bad business partner?

1. Communication Issues

There’s a saying in sports, “Availability is the best ability.” Our abilities are only useful if we are available to contribute. A business partner who rarely responds to calls, texts, or emails can delay important work. This could result in your business receiving a reputation for being unreachable and unable to meet deadlines.

Worse than a partner who doesn’t respond is a partner who responds with hostility. A partnership is often only as strong as the relationships within it. If you have a partner who is frequently hostile to new ideas or attempts to force themselves into unrelated aspects of the partnership, then it may be time to cut ties.

2. Poor Credit Report

Think about your personal life – when you want to get favorable loan terms, you need first to improve your credit score. This means being diligent about paying off accounts on time, avoiding high credit balances, not having too many hard inquiries during a short period of time, and other responsible financial habits.

In business partnerships, securing loans and funding will rely on the credit scores of the partners whose names will be on the loan. If you have a partner who has a bad credit score, this will make it harder to secure loans and favorable loan terms for the business.

Internally, a bad credit report could also mean you have one partner who cannot be trusted to manage company finances and debts.

3. A Partner With Personal Baggage

Life happens. We all deal with our own personal issues from time to time, but a business partner who can’t seem to keep those issues separate and who frequently has those issues could put your work at risk. Keep an eye on any partner whose personal troubles bleed into the day-to-day work. This might include:

  • Contentious personal relationships interrupting their work
  • Frequent distractions
  • Individuals contacting your business looking to speak with them about personal matters
  • Unhealthy familial relationships that cause disruptions for others

We must be empathetic to our partners, but we also must have a limit for how personal issues impact our work. An occasional distraction is reasonable, but when it becomes a frequent problem, then they may not be a fit.

4. Actively Involved in Other Businesses

A diverse partnership provides diverse opportunities. In some business partnerships, each partner has other professional obligations – including working with multiple businesses. Being accountable for each obligation will be necessary to avoid being stretched too thin.

If there is a partner who is rarely available because of other professional obligations, then other members need to ask themselves if this individual will be present when it matters most. Will they be at important meetings? Can they provide their vote on pressing matters? Are those other obligations interfering with or running counter to the work you are doing? At Bryant Taylor Law, we work with Florida businesses that have to face these questions all the time. We have seen strong partnerships and we have seen partnerships built to fail. Businesses get divorced too, but if you want your partnership to survive then our team can help you navigate any legal boundaries in your way. Contact Bryant Taylor Law today to make sure your partnership is on a path toward success.

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