I have business partnership woes. Help!

Hi Aunty B,

I am in an equal partnership with someone who isn’t interested in helping me grow the business.

She only wants to work behind the scenes and isn’t willing to make one phone call or have any contact with any potential or existing clients that aren’t email based.

She only wants the easy tasks and is basically getting a dream run.

She also doesn’t need the money whereas I do.

Do I get out and go it alone? She doesn’t want to get out, why would she? What do I do? HELP!


Dear Bella,

Hang on. You have just described the perfect partnership. One partner is the hunter, the other is the farmer. One partner hunts aggressively while the other keeps the fire burning. One partner looks for opportunities, pushes the boundaries, is great at networking and has a big gob. The other partner is usually more introspective. They make sure the operations are humming, strategy is on track, that customers are getting exceptional service and that the staff have the right skills, are productive and happy. Both roles are crucial to business growth and you certainly don’t want a partner that replicates your skills.

The question really is this: what are her long-term ambitions for the company? In five years time does she want it to be paying for a holiday to the Gold Coast or does she want a profitable business turning over millions? This is the most crucial question for any potential partners to ask each other.

If she answers the former and you answer the later, then get out. She will hold the business back and you will go nuts. If she does have the same ambition as you, then sit down and write out job descriptions and KPIs for your roles. Work out how she will run operations and you will head up sales, marketing and business development.

Learn to respect what the other one does. And remember, business is about a lot more than just bringing in the money.

Good luck!
Your Aunty B


To read more Aunty B advice, click here.

Email your questions, problems and issues to auntyb@smartcompany.com.au right now!


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