Company Pressures and the Impact on Business Partnerships

Is your business getting in the way of you having a successful partnership? Right now you are asking yourself what does she mean by that? How can the business impact the partnership? All kinds of pressures can impact the success of your business partnership.

You’re thinking that you’ve been in business thirty years and weathered the ups and downs of the economy and hiring millennials versus baby boomers and everything in between, so I must be talking to new companies, ones without your tenure…wrong!

Maybe you’re thinking sales are skyrocketing and we have tons of money in the bank and there seems like an endless supply of clients showing up, so there can’t be any pressures that have an impact on the partnership. Of course you’d understand if the company was in the red or your customer base was shrinking, but that’s not the case. Money solves all problems, right? Wrong again!

There are many parts to a partnership. There is the relationship between you and your partners, there is the business itself (more on this in a minute) and if you are a family business, there is the family. Each piece affects the other, and, ultimately, has an impact on the business partnership. Let’s take a look.

When you started the business it was one for all and all for one. The goal was the same for everyone, to build a successful business. Even your definition of success was likely to be aligned. And because everyone was rowing in the same direction, the minor frictions that occurred between partners was written off as someone having a bad day.

The business grew and reached a level of success maybe you were satisfied with. Maybe your business partners were happy also, maybe not. Regardless, at some point needs started to diverge. Someone was no longer willing to work 60 hours a week to grow the business. Another partner thought salaries should be increased because they needed it. Perhaps disagreements rose around what the company would pay for (cars, 5-star hotels, spouses on trips, furnishings, etc.). The workload was increasing and discussions increased about additional staff, or adding more partners or, well, you get the picture. Bottom line, as the business grows the needs of the partners changed and impacted the relationship.

Reality is that the longer you are in business the more likely you are to have challenges, which in turn affect the relationship between partners. Needs change as partners get married, have families, illness occurs, financial needs shift, just to name a few. Millennials think differently than baby boomers and technology has altered the workplace in ways too numerous to name. What you could do even ten years ago to attract clients may no longer work. The workplace changes, the business of business changes, people change and it impacts your partnership. Don’t fool yourself into believing otherwise.

Of course, when the business is just bobbing along and not growing, or had sky-rocketed success and now revenues are declining, disagreements will occur. Finger pointing will ensue. Blaming each other for poor decisions, not holding up their end of the their responsibility, taking too much time off and a host of other accusations will be thrown around. Having money doesn’t solve problems, but the lack of money will cause people to make poor decisions. How could this not impact the business partnership?

Today, business moves at break neck speed and you have to be willing to keep up, and change to keep up Change is difficult for most and untenable for many. It causes us to be stressed and feel pressured to respond in a way that may be uncomfortable or even difficult for us. When we are feeling stressed, that we are running short of time, something is not worth it or we run out of energy, every single one of us has a back-up style, a way we function that is different than our natural selves. This back-up style isn’t pretty and when it appears people around us react, and, of course, the relationship is impacted.

Differences in communication, leadership and operational styles are often at odds with your partners. Then you add into the mix changing personal needs and goals, and the changes in the business itself and it’s a recipe for disappointment and maybe even disaster. Of course company pressures impact the success of business partnership. With what you’ve just read, how could it not?