According to the Small Business Association, there were over 265,000 small businesses in Mississippi in 2021; many of those businesses have partners and co-owners. Running a business with a partner can be both rewarding and challenging. The shared vision, combined skills and resources can drive your company to greater heights.
But what happens when you and your business partner cannot agree on things? Conflicts can obstruct progress and harm your business if not addressed properly.
Communication is key
When disagreements arise, the first step is to communicate openly and honestly with your partner. Understand their perspective and express your views without anger or personal attacks. Remember, the aim of the conversation is to resolve the issue and find common ground.
Define roles and responsibilities
Clearly defining roles and responsibilities can prevent many disagreements. If each partner knows their area of authority, it can reduce overlaps and conflicts. Review your business roles regularly to ensure they align with your current business needs.
Implement a conflict resolution policy
A conflict resolution policy can provide a roadmap when disagreements occur. This policy can include procedures like negotiation or bringing in a third-party arbitrator. Having a defined policy helps you approach disagreements in an organized and fair manner.
If you find that you and your partner cannot resolve the conflict on your own, consider bringing in a neutral third party. A mediator can facilitate discussion, help you understand each other’s views and guide you toward a mutually beneficial solution.
Establish a voting procedure
In some cases, you might need to rely on a voting system to make decisions. You can incorporate this process into your business agreement. Be sure to establish rules to prevent deadlocks and ensure all partners have a fair say.
Dealing with disagreements effectively is important to the success of your business. Remember, conflicts are normal in any partnership. The key lies in managing these disagreements constructively and finding resolutions that respect all parties involved and promote the best interests of your business. Keep communication lines open, be willing to compromise and always strive to maintain the health of your business relationship.