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If you are a business owner, you know that partnerships can be tricky. Finding a partner who shares your vision and is willing to work hard to achieve common goals is essential. But what do you do if you encounter a controlling partner who doesn’t share your same vision?
This blog post will discuss 19 ways how to deal with a controlling business partner. We will also provide some signs that may indicate that this person is not the best partner for you.
What are the signs of a bad business partner?
It is sometimes possible to spot red flags about a person’s integrity the moment you meet them. Here are some signs of an unhealthy relationship between business partners:
• Gives Unrealistic Promises
Anyone who has been a fraud victim knows how painful it can be. Losing money is bad enough, but being deceived by someone you thought you could trust is even worse.
Unfortunately, many people in the world are all too eager to take advantage of others. A potential business partner may misrepresent himself as someone with skill or authority who is very interested in working with you. He will entice you with incredible promises, such as tripling your investment.
But, after receiving your money, you don’t hear from him again. Fraudulent schemes like this have victimized many people. If it sounds too easy, there’s a good chance it’s a scam.
• Unwilling To Sign A Partnership Agreement
A partnership agreement is a binding contract between two business partners. It spells out the roles and responsibilities of each partner, as well as the ownership percentage and profit-sharing arrangement. A partnership agreement can help to prevent disagreements and protect both partners if the business is sold or dissolved.
One of the most important aspects of a partnership agreement is its commitment to the business. A partner who refuses to sign a contract may not be as dedicated to the partnership as she should be. This could lead to problems in the future, so it’s important to ensure that both partners are on board with the agreement before moving forward.
• Has Ulterior Motives
In any business partnership, knowing your partner’s motives is essential. While everyone has their own agenda, you need to be sure that your partner is working towards the collective success of the business rather than just their interests.
One way to do this is to conduct a background check, which will reveal any other ventures your partner may have that could conflict with the interests of your business. You can protect your partner from potential destruction by being aware of your partner’s hidden agenda.
• Unable To Match What You Bring To The Table
When entering a business partnership, it is essential to consider more than just the material resources each party brings to the table. It is also necessary to consider both partners’ complementary skills and experiences. In a successful partnership, each partner should get something different to the table and be able to fill in the gaps for their counterpart.
This way, both partners can learn and grow from each other, benefiting the business. Conversely, an imbalanced partnership in which one party dominates the other can lead to tension and resentment, eventually damaging the professional relationship beyond repair.
Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that both partners are on equal footing from the outset to create a harmonious and productive working environment.
• Has Conflicting Values
Close compatibility of values and thoughts is essential in any business or personal relationship. This is because it provides a common ground for open communication and understanding.
When values and thoughts are incompatible, it creates an invisible barrier that makes it difficult or even impossible to agree on anything. This can be frustrating and cause unnecessary conflict. It’s essential to be aware of this potential issue when entering a business partnership.
Both parties should make an effort to ensure that their goals and ideals are compatible. This will make planning and strategizing together toward a common goal much easier.
• Unreceptive To New Ideas
In today’s business world, adapting to change is essential for success. Entrepreneurs who can embrace new ideas and adapt their businesses to the constantly evolving market are more likely to find success than those who cling to old ways of doing things.
Those resistant to change can quickly become outdated and left behind by their more agile competitors. When partnering with another business, it is essential to ensure they are open to change and willing to try new things.
Otherwise, you may work with a partner who constantly dismisses new ideas, which can keep your business from reaching its full potential.
• Only Cares About Money
While it is essential to be financially successful in business, money should not be the sole or even determining factor in one’s business dealings. Companies driven by deeper passions or goals, such as making a difference in the world or bringing joy to others, are more likely to weather tough times and emerge victorious on the other side.
This is because those passionate about their work are likelier to stick with it and see it through, even when things are tough. Furthermore, having a partner whose only goal is to make money is usually not ideal. This person is likely to be impatient and unsympathetic to any struggles the business may face.
Ultimately, businesses driven by something more than just money tend to be more successful and Sustainable in the long run. Money is important, but it should not be the only thing that drives one’s business dealings.
In business, as in life, it is essential to surround yourself with people of integrity. A person of integrity is someone honest and trustworthy. They are reliable and keep their word. They are also transparent and have nothing to hide. On the other hand, a person of questionable integrity may be dishonest and untrustworthy.
They may try to cover up their mistakes or take money from your funds without your knowledge. In addition, they may sign agreements without your knowledge or consent. If you suspect that someone you are doing business with is of questionable integrity, it is best to end the relationship before it causes further damage.
• Can’t Be Trusted To Get Things Done
Being the sole owner of a business can be a daunting task. A million things always need to be done, and it’s impossible to be in multiple places at once. That’s one of the benefits of having a business partner – they can help to pick up the slack when you’re not around.
Of course, you must be confident that your partners can run the show in your absence. If you’re constantly worrying about what they’re doing when you’re not there, it might be time to reconsider their position in the company. After all, you should be able to trust your partners implicitly. If you can’t, it might be time to go back to being a solo operation.
• Always Sees Problems But Doesn’t Offer Solutions
A good business partnership is key to the success of any company. After all, two heads are better than one, and two sets of hands can get twice as much work done. But for a partnership to be truly effective, both partners must be committed to driving the business forward.
This means being relentless in pursuing goals and willing to work hard to overcome any obstacles that stand in the way. It also means being solutions-oriented rather than simply pointing out problems. A good business partner will focus on creating actionable plans to address pressing issues and work tirelessly to see those plans through to completion.
• Has Communication Issues
In any relationship, communication is critical. Whether it’s a romantic relationship, a friendship, or a business partnership, effective communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship. All partners need to keep their lines open to each other and be on the same page as much as possible. If one partner is out of touch with what’s happening, it can be a liability.
Signs of poor communication include not answering or returning calls, not checking e-mails, giving incomplete or unreliable data, etc. If you’re in a relationship where you’re not feeling supported or valued, take a step back and assess how effective your communication has been. It may be time to talk with your partner about how you can improve things.
• Uninspiring To Work With
It’s essential to choose a business partner wisely. After all, you’ll spend a lot of time with this person, and it’s necessary to have a good relationship. Ideally, you want someone with a pleasant personality and a good sense of humor.
Someone who can give you the right push when you’re down and call you out when you step out of line. It’s also essential to choose someone you get along with on a personal level. After all, if you can’t imagine going on a vacation with this person, then maybe he’s not the excellent cut for a business partner. Choose wisely, and you’ll set yourself up for success.
Related: How To Handle an Ethical Dilemma at Work
How To Deal with a Controlling Business Partner?
Business partners who are controlling can be dealt with in the following ways.
1. Talk to your partner about their behavior
If you notice that your partner is starting to control your work, you must have a conversation with them about it. Explain how their behavior impacts your work and try to devise a solution that works for both of you.
If they’re unwilling to listen to your concerns or make any changes, it may be necessary to set some boundaries. Let them know how their behavior affects your work and what kind of treatment you expect from them in the future.
2. Set boundaries with your business partner.
In any business relationship, setting boundaries is essential to protect your sanity and productivity. This is especially true if you have a controlling business partner who tries to micromanage you or treat you like a subordinate. Their behavior can quickly lead to a verbally abusive relationship, damaging your work and mental health.
It’s essential to make it clear to your business partner that you won’t tolerate being treated like this. Explain how their behavior affects your work, and let them know what kind of treatment you expect from them in the future. If they refuse to change their behavior, you may need to consider ending the business relationship altogether. But by setting clear boundaries, you can help protect yourself from being controlled and abused in the workplace.
3. Seek help from outside sources
If you’re in a business partnership that isn’t going well, it may be because your partner is excessively controlling. This can take many forms, from emotional and verbal abuse to micromanaging your every move. If you’re finding it difficult to cope with a controlling partner, it may be helpful to seek advice from an outside source, such as a mediator or lawyer.
This can help you better understand your legal rights and options and provide an impartial third party to help facilitate communication between you and your partner. While seeking outside advice may be daunting, it can be valuable in protecting yourself and your business interests.
4. Be prepared for the worst-case scenario
Ending a business relationship can be a difficult and stressful process. There’s always the possibility of going wrong, so it’s essential to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. If your partner is unwilling to end the relationship peacefully, they may try to sabotage your business or damage your reputation. They may also try to blackmail you or threaten you with legal action.
If you’re prepared for the worst-case scenario, you’ll be able to deal with anything. Make sure you have all your documentation and talk to a lawyer about your rights and options. Keep calm, and don’t let your partner control the situation, and you’ll be able to get through it.
5. Consider ending the business relationship
No one deserves to be in a business relationship that is anything less than respectful. If you have tried talking to your partner and working out a solution, but nothing has changed, it may be time to consider ending the business relationship. This is a big decision, and it’s not something you should do lightly.
Make sure you weigh all your options before making a decision. Consider how the emotional abuse has affected you both personally and professionally. Talk to trusted friends or family members to get their perspectives.
6. Protect yourself and your business interests
If you find yourself in a business relationship that is no longer working, protecting yourself and your business interests is essential. Make sure you have a written partnership agreement outlining the split’s terms and get everything in writing. Keep copies of all crucial documents, and ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities before signing anything.
Unfortunately, verbal and emotional abuse can often accompany the ending of a business relationship. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to document everything and to seek legal counsel if necessary. As you move forward, these steps will help protect yourself and your business interests.
7. Move on from the situation
If you’ve tried everything and are still unhappy with the situation, it may be time to move on. This doesn’t mean giving up on your business dreams—it may just mean finding a new partner who is a better fit.
There are many ways to find business partners, so take time to network and meet new people. You may also want to consider working with a business coach or mentor who can help you identify areas where you need improvement.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to do what’s best for you and your business. If that means parting ways with a controlling business partner, then so be it. The goal is to find an arrangement that works for everyone involved and will help you achieve your long-term goals.
8. Limit your interactions Where Possible
At some point, you might find yourself in a situation where you are both business owners. In this case, creating boundaries between your professional and personal lives is essential. This will help to keep your interactions professional.
You do not have to avoid seeing your business partner; that is impossible. However, you might have to engage with a controlling business partner at work, but they do not need to get involved in your personal life.
9. Choose a time when both of you are calm and relaxed
Business partnerships can be a delicate balancing act, especially when sharing power and making decisions. If one partner feels like they are losing control, it can quickly lead to conflict. If you find yourself in this situation, it is essential to take a step back and address the issue before it gets out of hand.
Choose a time when both of you are calm and relaxed, and then have an honest conversation about your concerns. Try to come up with specific examples of times when you felt your input was disregarded or your authority was challenged.
Once you have identified the problem areas, work together to develop ground rules for how decisions will be made in the future. You can help keep your business partnership on track by addressing the issue head-on.
10. Be direct and honest about your concerns
If you’re in business with a controlling partner, knowing how to best deal with the situation can be challenging. On the one hand, you don’t want to rock the boat and jeopardize the business’s success. On the other hand, you don’t want to be steamrolled by your partner’s need for control.
The best way to deal with a controlling business partner is to be direct and honest about your concerns. Explain to your partner why you need more control, and offer specific examples of times when their power has been problematic. If your partner is unable or unwilling to make changes, you may need to consider parting ways.
However, being open and honest about your concerns gives you the best chance of maintaining a healthy and productive business relationship.
11. Listen to what your partner has to say
Business partnerships can be a great way to pool resources and skills to achieve a common goal. However, it is not always easy to find the perfect partner. Often, one partner will take on a more controlling role, leading to conflict. If you find yourself in this situation, listening to what your partner has to say is essential.
Try to understand their perspective and see if their argument has any merit. It is also important to be honest with your partner about your feelings and needs. Only by communicating openly and honestly will you be able to find a solution that works for both of you.
12. Try to come up with a solution that works for both o you
When two people work together towards a common goal, it’s essential to maintain a healthy level of communication and respect. However, there will inevitably be disagreements, which can sometimes escalate into full-blown conflict.
If you find yourself in a situation where your business partner is trying to control or micromanage you, it’s essential to devise a solution that works for both of you. One option is to discuss roles and responsibilities, ensuring that each person understands what they should do.
If that doesn’t work, you may consider dissolving the partnership altogether. Whatever you do, try to avoid letting the situation escalate into a bitter feud. After all, you’ll still have to see each other around town long after the business is gone.
13. Where Appropriate, do not Engage
No one likes to be spoken to harshly, especially by someone they care about. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one partner to try to control the other through aggressive language in a business setting. If you find yourself in this situation, it is essential to remember that you are both equals and that no one is superior to the other.
Attempting to control another person through verbal abuse shows weakness, not strength. So rather than getting sad or depressed when your partner comes at you with harsh words, brush it off and ignore their attempts to make you feel small. If they get too aggressive, the best action is to leave the room.
By standing up for yourself and refusing to engage in their childish behavior, you will message that you will not tolerate being treated like this.
14. Don’t Be A Puppet
In any relationship, it is essential to maintain a sense of autonomy and self-respect. Unfortunately, there are times when one partner may try to take advantage of the other. If you find yourself in a situation where you are being manipulated, it is essential to stand up for yourself and set boundaries.
Manipulative behavior can take many forms, from financial manipulation to emotional blackmail. No matter what form it takes, it is essential to recognize and stop it. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a situation where you constantly give in to your partner’s demands without regard for your own needs.
If you find yourself in this situation, be prepared to say “no” and set some clear boundaries. Only by doing so will you be able to maintain a healthy and balanced relationship.
15. Always Speak Up
Having a great business partnership is all about effective communication. That means sharing your ideas openly and honestly without fear of judgment or reprisal.
After all, it’s likely that you’ll have plenty of ideas that could add value to your business – whether it’s a new promotional idea or a solution to an ongoing problem. So don’t be afraid to speak up and share your thoughts with your partner. It could make all the difference to the success of your business.
16. Review the Partnership Agreement
When you first started your business, you and your partner sat down and drew up an agreement. This document spelled out each person’s role in the company.
However, as time passed, you both may have forgotten what exactly was agreed upon. It can be helpful to revisit this agreement from time to time. Not only will this remind you of your responsibilities, but it will also give you a better understanding of what your partner is supposed to be doing.
This can help to prevent misunderstandings and conflict down the road. So take some time to dust off that old agreement and see what it has to say about your respective roles in the business.
17. Talk to Your Partner About the Agreement
If you’re in a business partnership and things aren’t going well, it may be time to have a serious discussion. You’ll want to set a meeting to review the agreement and see if your partner is still comfortable with it.
This is also a good time to bring up any controlling behavior your partner has exhibited. It’s important to let them know that this behavior won’t help the business grow. While having this discussion, you must remain calm and professional. Otherwise, it could damage your relationship even further.
18. Exit the Partnership If All Attempts at Peaceful Dialogue Fails
If your business partner refuses to yield and continues being bullied, you must look for an alternative. Their behavior would continue to hinder the business growth, so it is best to walk away and start all over. Ending the partnership and moving on is the best solution.
There are other behaviors that a partner can exhibit which could spell doom for that business partnership and the business generally if not addressed appropriately. For example, if your partner is unreliable or constantly argues with you, it may be time to end the partnership.
In any case, it is important to be aware of the signs that a business partnership is not working so that you can take action before it is too late.
19. Take action if the situation becomes intolerable
Most businesses are successful because of the partnership between the owners. They support each other, help each other out, and give each other advice. But what happens when one partner tries to take control and starts dictating what the other can do?
It can be frustrating and damaging to the business. If you find yourself in this situation, you must try to talk to your partner about it. See if you can work out a solution together.
After all, you deserve a support system that allows you to thrive rather than constantly putting you down. It’s not an easy decision, but sometimes it’s necessary to move the business in a more positive direction.
Related: How To Deal With Employees Who Don’t Respect You
How to end a business partnership with your partner?
Before ending the partnership, you must take the following steps:
→ Check the Business Finances
Before dissolving a business partnership, you need to consider many things. Look into the outstanding obligations of the association, such as mortgages, contracts, and liens. Check to see if any client work remains, then ask yourself if the time is the best to dissolve the partnership.
After paying liability and splitting assets among the partners, you must consider the business’s worth and figure out how much will be left for you. The business partner should also be assessed. This can be done by employing a professional who will give you a clearer idea of the partnership’s value.
Considering all of these factors, you can make an informed decision about whether or not dissolving the partnership is the right choice for you.
→ Identify the Properties the Partnership Loaned from you
If you are in a business partnership, it is not uncommon for your partner to loan you personal property. This could be something as simple as office furniture or a company car. However, any items loaned must be clearly stated in the partnership agreement.
This will help to avoid any misunderstandings down the road. If you do personal loan property to your business, scrutinize it beforehand. This will ensure that you are not held responsible for any damage that may occur.
If there is no agreement in place, you may still be able to claim property ownership by looking at the business’s records. These documents should list the owner of each item of property. This information will help strengthen your case if there is any dispute over who owns what.
→ Meet With an Attorney
There are many moving parts when it comes to starting a business. From registering your company and filing the necessary paperwork to developing your product or service and finding customers, there’s a lot to think about. And that’s not even considering the legal aspects of starting a business.
This is where a business attorney comes in. A business attorney can help you with everything from incorporating your business to drafting contracts and agreements.
→ Discuss the Dissolution Terms
One of the most difficult challenges in business is knowing when to call it quits. Whether due to disagreements, financial difficulties, or simply a change in interests, deciding to dissolve a partnership is never easy.
If you and your partner have a written agreement stipulating the dissolution terms, you should follow those terms in the letter. However, if there is no such agreement in place, you’ll need to sit down with your partner and negotiate the terms of dissolution.
→ Cancel all Credit Cards
When two or more people go into business together, it’s essential to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding spending. Otherwise, one partner could rack up a lot of debt that the other partners are ultimately responsible for.
That’s why it’s a good idea to cancel all the credit cards the partnership can access if you’re planning on dissolving a business partnership. This way, you can prevent your partners from racking up debts for which you’ll be responsible.
→ Pay all Debts
Before you dissolve a business partnership, taking basic steps to protect your finances is essential. One of the most important things to do is cancel any credit cards your partner can access. This will prevent them from piling up debts in your name while the partnership is close to being dissolved.
Of course, you’ll also want to close joint bank accounts and remove your partner as an authorized user on all accounts.
→ Get paid
After a business partnership ends, the partners must settle all the outstanding liabilities. Once this has been done, the remaining profits and capital will be shared among the partners according to the terms of the partnership agreement. If there is no agreement, the partners must reach a consensus on how to divide the assets.
In either case, it is important that all partners are treated fairly and that any division of assets is carried out transparently. Only then can the partners move forward and focus on their new ventures.
→ Take your Property Back
Taking back something you loaned, money or property, is never easy. But if you need to reclaim property you lent to a business partnership, it’s essential to act quickly and decisively.
The first step is to send a certified letter to the individual or individuals in question, informing them that you are reclaiming your property and specifying when and how they need to return it. If they don’t comply with your request, you may need to take more drastic measures, such as hiring a repossession company.
Related: How To Manage Someone Who Doesn’t Respect Your Authority
Dealing with a controlling business partner can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone.
Many people have gone through the same thing and come out victorious on the other side. If you find yourself in this situation, we hope this blog post has provided you with some valuable tips on dealing with it.
We would love to hear from you in the comment section below. Tell us your story of how you dealt with a controlling business partner and what advice you would give to others who may be going through the same thing.