If it can happen to Cellino and Barnes, it can happen to you.
Ross Cellino Jr. and Stephen Barnes have been business partners since the mid-1990s and shot to fame thanks to their catchy advertising jingle. Last week, Cellino filed a lawsuit against Barnes in order to dissolve the firm, Cellino & Barnes. Thing is, almost 80% of all business partnerships fail with notorious examples including Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg, The Beatles, and Apple’s Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
Try to find solutions to the problems in your business relationship. If you really can’t work things out, have a clear and considerate conversation about ending your business relationship, so you’re both on the same page.
Do it privately and make sure the person hears it from you first, not on the news or social media. No one wants to be fired like FBI Director James Comey.
Take the high road. Don’t try to ruin your partner’s reputation just because you had a disagreement. It’s a small world and smaller business community.
Get a third party negotiator to resolve any conflict or emotionally charged issues. In worst cases, a third party negotiator can help to ensure an amicable breakup, adds Brandon Smith, founder of The Workplace Therapist.
Cellino Sr., who started the firm back in 1950s, said his son wants an amicable split. He said Barnes wants to focus on the California side of the business, Cellino wants to work on the East Coast. And both simply want a judge to referee the complicated split, as the NY Post reported.
If all of this sounds too messy, here are some tips on how to avoid the situation in the first place.
Think about the end at the beginning. Ask yourself if the personality and temperament of your potential partner matches with yours.
Determine how much control you and your partner will have and how you two will handle conflict. It’s easier to talk about this before there is a conflict.
Create a business plan. Consult a lawyer to assist with legal terms, and have it written on paper how you two will handle the situation in case there is a split.
Utilize one another’s talents, your partner is good at some things and you are good at others.
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