How to break up with a business partner
Let’s talk about a topic that many of us try to avoid:
Breaking up is tough in your personal life or in business.
But you know that sometimes it’s necessary. An unhealthy business relationship can hurt you in more ways than one.
Working with partners who don’t contribute is, at best, a waste of time.
And yet, so many of us find it hard to let go. Rather than looking at the association as simply business, we take it personally. Not to mention that breakups are super awkward.
Here’s an example…
For one reason or another, you might stay with a service provider for longer than you should. In trying to avoid hurt feelings, you’re hurting yourself and your business.
But what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be like this?
It’s true! You can end a relationship without any awkwardness or guilt.
All it takes is a little mindset shift.
First things first – you need to understand that there’s nothing personal about a business breakup. The decision to stop working together doesn’t have to mean that either of you did anything wrong.
Instead, you should consider it a completely normal part of growth. Your business has flourished to the point where it’s outgrown its service providers. This is absolutely fine!
Or maybe it’s because you’ve changed your business model, or the provider has changed their focus. Or maybe they did do something wrong, and you just can’t work with them anymore.
Whatever the reason, know that you deserve to work with the best people you can find!
You work so hard to build your business, don’t let a replaceable business relationship hold you back. You have a responsibility to do what’s best for yourself and your business.
Don’t hesitate to end any relationship that’s holding you back.
I know it can be awkward and tough.
But I also know you’re capable of standing your ground and breaking up with a business partner that doesn’t fit your next stage of growth.
Here are three ways to make it easier:
1. “It’s not you, it’s me”
Have you ever had to say this to someone?
Sure you have!
It’s the least painful way to break up if you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings.
Here’s an example of what you could say:
“I really appreciate the work you’ve done for me, and thank you for helping me get to where I am. I’ve just realized that my business needs are changing, so it would be best if this was our last session.”
As you can see, it’s really not that hard. You can move on without offending the provider or feeling any guilt.
2. Complete honesty
If you’ve had a completely open relationship with your provider from the start, you might as well carry it out to the end.
Ideally, everyone should be able to handle the truth. Hopefully, that’s the case with your business partner. You don’t have to come up with any excuses. You can just tell it like it is and move on.
Unfortunately, there are many people who’d rather not hear the truth. Listen to your gut when you decide whether honesty is the best policy.
3. Short and Sweet
Okay, maybe not that sweet, but short nevertheless.
Sometimes you just have to remember that “No” is a complete sentence. You can be firm and get the breakup over with, all the while remaining professional and polite.
You could say something like:
“Thank you for everything you’ve done so far. My situation has changed and we should discontinue our relationship. I wish you all the best.”
And that’s it. Easy enough, don’t you think?
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