It’s a fact of life that not all relationships are going to last forever. Some need to end much sooner than they do. There are even those that require outside insight to help you see have come to an end. Today, we are talking about toxic business relationships and knowing when to pull the plug.
The Blame Game
It’s like they say, shit happens. Things are going to go wrong once in a while. The best path forward is to be accountable, understand the problem and why it happened, fix the issue and move forward. If you are working in a business partnership, especially when it’s between two companies, you should be aligned is this way of thinking. If your partner decides to throw you under the bus and make themselves look better to a client, that is when you know it’s time to cut ties and wish them good riddance.
That's Not What I Said
When you are partnering with another company, you need to have mutual respect and trust. It seems fairly simple to think that if someone says they are going to do something, complete a project, provide a service, whatever it may be, that you are able to take them at their word.
If however, you find that you need to constantly note down their words, record them or constantly reaffirm everything your counterpart is saying, then you don’t want to be in business with that person/company.
The message between the lines is that they are not genuine and they’re going to either under-deliver, or over-commit you, and you’re going to be the one to suffer. Remember, they never said that.
Opening the Facor Factory
It’s not uncommon to do a little free work here and there for a client of partner. What you have to watch out for is when the occasional request turns into an all the time thing. You can’t live off goodwill and happy feelings.
This one can really sneak up on you. A craft conman/woman will usually sell you on the idea that giving X away for free to a prospect is going to result in tons of business. They’ll exploit this cycle, especially if you trust them, as long as they can. It will never turn into actual paying work, but they’ll be sticking their burden upon your shoulders.
The three examples are all things I’ve dealt with over the last ten years of my career. Not all business partnerships are meant to be, some shouldn’t even exist in the first place. Before partnering with anyone, be sure to do your research on the company and the owner(s). It can save you a lot of headache in the long run.