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Tips for Handling Business Partner Disputes

written by: Alison Moxley•edited by: Ginny Edwards•updated: 10/7/2010

Handle disputes with your business partner before they get out of hand. Learn techniques to solve small problems before they turn into large ones.

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    Solving Disputes With Your Business Partner

    Solve disputes with your partner quickly 

    For most small business owners, the key to success is finding a great partner to help guide the company and drive sales and profits. The ideal business partner is strong where the other is weak, has the skills to run the business independently and is a forward thinker that can assist the owner in growing the business. Getting along with your business partner is imperative to the life of the business.

    Knowing how to handle business partner disputes is a valuable skill for any organization. It is normal to occasionally have disputes with your business partner. These disputes arise when the partners don't agree on the direction the company is heading, plans for growth of the company and the day-to-day operation of the business. The best way to handle a dispute with your business partner is to address the situation as soon as it arises. As with any conflict, the longer it is allowed to fester and go unaddressed, the worse it will become. The first step in handling business partner disputes is to make a note of the issue that is causing the conflict. By writing down the problem, you can look at it objectively and figure out what is causing the dispute. In some cases, you can resolve the conflict without ever addressing your partner. In other cases, you may have to confront your partner about the problem, such as when the partner is not pulling his weight. Make sure to do this in a diplomatic and tactful manner to avoid further disputes with your partner.

    When confronting your partner about a dispute, schedule a meeting to discuss the issue. Avoid confronting him while he is working or when there are clients or customers nearby. At your meeting, prepare a written document that details the issue at hand. Provide a summary of the solutions you believe will solve the problem effectively. Try not to blame your partner. Instead, focus on how solving the problem will make the business improve.

    Sometimes, holding a meeting with your partner will not solve the issue completely. There are times when more actions are required to settle the dispute. If your dispute with your partner involves a specific task, try delegating the task to another person for a period of time to see if that resolves the issue. If that still does not resolve the issue, consider bringing in a professional mediator to help you and your partner reach a consensus.

    Getting along with your business partner is necessary for a healthy relationship and the success of your business. It is important to address concerns with your partner so that the business can run smoothly and enjoy success and profits. By addressing problems with your partner in a civilized and professional manner, you will enjoy a great working relationship with your business partner.

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