Business Partner Problems: It’s Not You, It’s You + Me
Take this Test Before Financial Consummation
Getting into a business partnership is a lot like dating, there’s an attraction, a courtship, a financial consummation and a honeymoon period. But after the mutual infatuation fades, entrepreneurs are often left in awkward, unhappy and unfulfilling “marriages” with their partners. Concerned that many Canadian Entrepreneurs may be jumping the gun into potentially bankrupting business partnerships, we have created a modern, simple and decisive partnership compatibility test that all Canadian Entrepreneurs currently considering partnership should complete.
The Partner Pitfalls Test was developed by Patrick McCabe and Dr. Yashar Khosroshahi, ND, ACC, a brain-based Executive Coach specializing in using science to empower better business decision making. The 12-question test covers a wide range of personality-related questions based on 4 key psychological brain-points including:
1. Meta Emotions:
These are your own actual emotions and your understanding of your emotions and the emotions of others.
In the context of being a partner, this is the ability to run your side of the business with or without major input or direction.
This is the structure and confidence that you communicate to your staff about the workplace, your business stability and your future plans.
4. Grit and The Big Picture:
This looks at how you handle major challenges and stress challenges.
Prospective partners are encouraged to download the PDF test here, fill it out and compare answers to get a better insight into what a business marriage would be like, before it turns into a business divorce.
This exercise will require a fair amount of personal insight, honesty and a willingness to share openly with your potential business partner. No test can predict every potential disagreement, but we think this is a smart way to flag the potential conflicts that could cause friction in the future.
The test score can be a great starting point to gauge partner compatibility, but even more important is the commitment of partners to communicate and set up rules about conflict and conflict resolution. One of the biggest predictors of success in a marriage is how well couples fight and how they narrate their conflict history. A successful business partnership operates on many of the same points.
I advise clients to have an ongoing understanding of their company/share value as a business goes through growth and business cycles. Clients rarely do and it's a bit of a shock to the system when there is a mandate to buy/sell shares in the company and a valuation is performed. A little work upfront to structure the partnership agreement for growth and change can be worth a lot of saved conflict later.