3 Types of People You Probably Shouldn’t Choose as your Business Partner

by / Friday, 23 May 2014 / Published in Productive Business Tips

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Before describing the traits of an undesirable business partner, it’s important to point out that even if someone does exhibit some of these traits, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should disqualify them. Ultimately, the person you choose as your partner needs to be able to complement your skills and the way that you do business, so there is the potential out there for someone who wouldn’t classically qualify as a strong partner being your optimal counterpart. That being said, in general if a prospective business partner falls into one of these three categories, then you should seriously evaluate the potential for inviting them into a partnership that will determine the course of your business’s success or failure.

The Spendthrift. If your prospective business partner is the type who treats resources like they will never run out, then that should be a major red flag. Business capital is a finite resource, and business owners can’t afford to assume that things will work themselves out in regards to cash flow. As the current owner of your business, you may have already established limits of spending and balanced a budget carefully, as this is a essential part of writing a business plan. If you notice that your prospective partner has profligate spending habits, or over allocates resources to specific tasks, then consider the fact that by ceding partial control of your business to them you are creating the potential for them to undo the hard work you put in to creating a budget.

The Ghost. You may have seen the ghost a few times, and maybe you’ve even gotten some great advice or made some plans with them, but nobody else really believes you. Why? Because this type of person is just never around and impossible to get in touch with. Communications are vital for maintaining a competitive edge as a small business. If it takes too long to convey important information to a non-communicative partner, then you could wind up paralyzed by indecision while opportunities come and go. If you think that the advice and guidance offered by this person is valuable, maybe you should consider having them serve a mentoring role rather than coming on board as a partner.

The Clown. This person can’t take anything seriously. While at times, the calm demeanor and light humor of this potential partner can seem like a true asset, you don’t want to be in a position down the road where you need to be serious and put on your game face and your partner still won’t rise to the occasion. It’s great to be a relaxed person, but before you bring this person into your business as your partner, make sure that they are able to handle the responsibilities required of them and put jokes and procrastination aside when they need to. No matter how lighthearted your business model, when it comes down to your financial future you can’t afford to take the chance that your partner will treat it like a joke.

Photo credit to Melissa Wiese on Flickr

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