Business partner not working hard as I am

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by CriticalSection, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. CriticalSection

    CriticalSection
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi, I would like your advice on my serious problem.

    I and my parnter (friend) are a startup company with %50 each. We are developing a software project for about 2 years.

    My problem is my business partner is taking my energy so much, i feel really scared to continue for the following reasons.

    I have knowledge in software development. I was working with a very good salary in a software company and I financially backed up my partner for 1 year. What I mean by backing up is giving nearly all my salary for him to write the core part of the project. Of could I could hire someone but I thought it would be hard to investigate or contribute to that kind of work if I am working at another company. I needed someone I trust.

    While I am working at another company, I spent countless nights working on the coding side also.
    Because my partner had some debts, I also paid all other expences like company registration because I had faith in the project.
    After the project was fairly working, I told my partner he needs to find a job so I can continue backing up project for marketing etc. (We had agreed on that at the beginning)

    We have started some sales and it is not going bad for now. The problem is my partner didnt contribute except a few days for the last 7 months after I stopped paying him. (I also gave him a few more months salary for him to help him find a good job. he didnt work on our project in that timespan too.)

    I cant talk about that with him because he is repeating some ****ty reasons like i cant focus because of my debts or family problems or problems he has in his new job.
    He doesnt even get the job done if I create a whole module spending a week (which was his job) and all I need from is to add it to some project folder on the server.

    I also have communication problem with him like I cant even start to brainstorm, because he would say "if you know better why do you ask me? "

    I feel like an idiot now (and you also think like that probably) but he was really excited about the project at the beginning. And I kept spending just to secure my previous payments.
    Now I come to a point the business is starting to be successful after 2 year of hard work but I am really tired of going to his home for 30 seconds of work, I am also very uncomfortable because at some point I have to sign contracts for providing future updates (which my partner has to take roles on).

    Would you continue with this kind of startup? or just ignore all the hard work and sleepless nights and start over with your own?
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    10,575
    Likes Received:
    1,165
    Welcome to Business Advice Forum CriticalSection. Partnerships can be very difficult and I'm sorry to hear of the issues you have been experiencing. I'd suggest that the best approach would be to arrange a time to have a good sit down with your partner, have a heart to heart and tell him about all the difficulties you are experiencing in the business. But even more importantly listen to him and try to get his perspective on the business and how he sees his future role in it. He might even tell you that he simply wants out and that you can take over the business full time.

    Does that sound like something you could do?
     
  3. StewardHill

    StewardHill
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    10
    This is a really uncomfortable situation. However, you need to act! As Fergal suggested, you need to have a heart to heart conversation about it. You have to do one thing though, you can't care about his feelings or anything, just be honest and tell him everything...and I mean everything. Be patient with him and listen to him but be strict as well and ready to break your business relationship in case the talk won't help.

    Good luck to you, it really is an uncomfortable situation.
     
  4. LucidWebMarketng

    LucidWebMarketng
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    23
    You say you are partners, 50/50. Is there a document to that effect? Does that document clearly say what each partner must do to keep up their end of the bargain, both for work put into the project and money? Can one buy the other out?

    You need to talk to him. Do you think he'll change and do what needs to be done? My guess is not since it's been going on for a while. So I'd break with him right now. This is business, don't let friendship get in the way.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Ben Advice

    Ben Advice
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    5
    I would have to agree that this is a sticky situation, and one of the many reasons that it can be difficult to form a business relationship with a friend.

    It would be easy to say that you need to pick a partner that can pull their weight in the business, but not that you are here there are some ways in which you can resolve the situation.

    Get everything in writing. Make sure that you are on the same page and that you can agree on the terms of the business arrangement.

    Voice your concerns and make sure that he knows how you feel. Perhaps he believes that he is doing his part and doesn't realize that you are pulling most of the weight.

    See if he would entertain the idea of terminating the relationship in an amicable way so that you can remain friends.

    It's difficult to resolve these problems, but be sure to keep open communication and make sure that both of you are on the same page.

    Good luck!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. StewardHill

    StewardHill
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    10
    Everything is easier when its on paper. So as Ben suggested, get everything in written form. If your partner still wants to work with you, definitely make a written agreement. That way it is easier to confront him and even break the business relationship.

    And again, as Ben said...don't let your friendship get in the way. This is like a breakup, breakups are selfish in a way. You need to think about you and your business.
     
  7. Jerlene

    Jerlene
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,415
    Likes Received:
    176
    You enabled him to be lazy. Cutting off financial ties was the best thing tu could do. Other than that I suggest sitting down with Jim and tell him what you just told us. I know it can be difficult but its business.
     
  8. CriticalSection

    CriticalSection
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks everyone for their valueable suggestions.

    I thought about this a lot. I tried to talk him about that but I still cant get clear answers. He sure dont want out. and even if I dont have any partnership contract It would be difficult for me to break up now since he has developed the some important parts of the application. Even If I break up, It would be neither good for friendship nor profitable in the short run.

    So i came along with a solution, I will not break up the partnership but I wont spend more time or resources than him anymore and wont help the costs any more than my share. so If it fails, it fails. But I wont be a workslave for him for the rest of my life. If he realises something going wrong, and realize it effects him financially, then we can continue what we are doing.

    Breaking up is not easy in software business. Since copying the source code is costless, if both parties want to continue the business without other partner and have the product, it will become a very silly breakup (If you dont have a signed agreement stating what if a partner is out)

    Anyway, I learned that I should put everything in paper as some of the members said, even with my friend as partner. I will do that even my partner is my mom from now on =)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    #8 CriticalSection, Jul 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  9. Mark T

    Mark T
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,201
    Likes Received:
    230
    Just keep in mind that whenever you are trying to enter into this kind of serious negotiation, you have to create a written agreement, signed by both parties and well understood by both sides as well. This is to help you out both in understanding your scope and limits over the business, and your responsibilities and duties as well.
     
  10. CriticalSection

    CriticalSection
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hello It has been a long time, i wanted to write the ending of such partnership
    Just a few weeks later he was fired from his job and he started working on our project.

    I couldnt bear his rude attitudes anymore and I gave all the business to my partner. Because i did not want to work with him even if the business was earning money. He sells the product easily because he keeps giving promises to customers he will not keep. I didnt see any long time future to our business. maybe i'm wrong but i didnt want to work with him anyway.

    Now i feel much better except im still a little sad because of all the money and time I invested for such great failure. But i now know if i could achieve a profitable business with funding such a non functioning idiot, I can sure do it for myself. In return to my investment I learned valuable lessons. I hope you can learn them free from my experience. =) Thanks everyone for their help.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. steve zheng

    steve zheng
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Work together with friends is easy to appear such circumstance.But everything is easier when its on paper,so you need to sign a contract.In this way can better work.
     
  12. bleepingdesign

    bleepingdesign
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    32
    I agree with @Fergal's advice but its hard to implement
    __________
    According to me Partnership business is a pain in the wrong place. I had a similar experience when me and my friend decided to start a tech blog. I had to do all the posting and my friend did nothing... The idea finally failed,even after negotiations..

    Finally I had to concentrate on my primary blog and ignore the secondary blog that we created.
     
  13. Fergal

    Fergal
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    10,575
    Likes Received:
    1,165
    Thanks for the update CriticalSection. Sorry that it didn't work out differently but it's great that you can put it behind you, learn valuable lessons from the experience and move on with it. Good luck and every success with your future endeavours.
     
  14. alicemenezes

    alicemenezes
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    4
    Well, give him an ultimatum on something legal and written.
     
  15. Kellylunttu

    Kellylunttu
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes of course before entering into this field we need to go for an written agreement otherwise many more problems arise in future that you never expected even.
     
  16. MortgageExpert

    MortgageExpert
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hopefully you have something in writing about liquidating assets and/or ownership. Partnerships rarely work, and
    it sounds like this one is finished. End and start over, you will thank yourself years from now.
     
    #16 MortgageExpert, Jul 7, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2013
  17. singhabhishek251

    singhabhishek251
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2013
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    3
    It happens many times with many people as we do not know how our partner will work as we expect them to work hard to make everything fine and we come to know this. You should directly tell him that you cannot continue if he remains the same as there will be nothing to get from in future. Many experienced and older people from my area used to say that business in partner never works and we should not do any business in partnership and I can see that the condition is same for every where.
     
  18. infobusiness

    infobusiness
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Talk to him clear cut on this situation than spoil the friendship any further.
    If you still see no improvement, you need to take some tough decision and get rid of him (at whatever price).
    If nothing helps, go with legal route.

    This is the very reason I never mix money and friendship, ever. I know at some point in time, money will mess up friendship.
    I feel sorry for you, good luck.
     
  19. saahil

    saahil
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    6
    Partnerships are not built to play around for fun or making on relationships
    If its your bread and butter, may be you should talk in the contribution, resources added and profits

    May be if by an open discussion with your friend does not work up, you should part ways with. In business, you can not afford to slow down because your partner is dumb
    Its not relationships - its financial bread and butter.
     
  20. amwarner

    amwarner
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    67
    The same thing happened to me recently with a friend I worked with. Drew up a contract and contributed equally in the beginning but he started slacking off and not doing any of the work. Then things weren't being paid on time and he was almost never available to meet up. I had to cancel the entire partnership because it wasn't worth it ... plus he proved to be a bad worker. In your situation if it were me, I would have done the same thing and actually did. I left and gave the business to my friend (who hasn't worked on it since) Partnerships with friends and families are the worst I find. 1 out of 10 partnerships like that actually work. Even though you may feel bad about losing out on some money you spent initially, know that a weight is lifted off of your shoulders that would have come from the headaches that were sure to come if you continued.
     

Share This Page