The number of businesses that fold due to bad partnerships is staggering. In some cases, they are charlatans, in others inept business people, and others find themselves unable to scale with any growth.
—Michael E. Gerber, World’s No. 1 Small Business Guru according to Inc. Magazine.
For all the success stories of start-up businesses that made it big, they are far outnumbered by the many companies that failed to achieve lasting success. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 50% of new companies are out of business within five years, and only one-third of new businesses last for a full 10 years. The causes of these failures are many, but one of the biggest challenges that new, jointly-owned businesses face are conflicts between the company’s owners—it is difficult for any business to survive a bad partnership.
While the importance of finding a good business partner is well-known, what is less understood are the characteristics of a good business partner. Our views on this important issue are based on experience. In our Business Divorce practice, we have worked with both owners and investors in hundreds of private companies, and this vantage point has allowed us to observe first-hand both remarkable business successes, as well as epic company failures. From our position in the trenches advising owners and investors, we have concluded that the best business partners are: accountable, adaptable and accessible. This post takes a look at these three traits in more depth.
Continue Reading With Friends Like These, Enemies Aren’t Needed: Character Traits of Great Business Partners