The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

How to handle a problem business partner

Hello, this is Laura Lee Rose.  I am a speaker and author.  I am an expert in time and project management.

I help busy professionals and entrepreneurs create effective systems so that they can comfortably delegate to others, be more profitable and have time to enjoy life even if they don’t have time to learn new technology or train their staff.  I have a knack for taking big ideas and converting them into smart, sound, and actionable ideas.

At the end of the day, I give people peace of mind.

Today’s question came from a busy professional interested in freeing some time and space to advance in his career.

Mirroring 1.0report cardI’ve been having major difficulties with my business partner for a new venture we’re trying to grow. Any tips/advice for remedying the situation?

Most problems between partners occur because there isn’t a clear definition of roles, expectations and responsibilities.   One person often sees themselves as the big thinker but needs someone that can follow-through on those items.   The other person that is great at execution needs someone that can sit down long enough to clearly articulate the path.  Neither role is sufficient for a successful business.  If each one doesn’t understand what needs to be accomplished for a successful business, it will be a difficult road.

If you haven’t already done so – create your business plan with roles, expectations and responsibilities. Clearly outline expectations AND consequences of not completing or complying with the roles and responsibilities. Have specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound tasks and goals for each role.

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If you have this well outlines and signed by the participants before hand AND the consequences outlined (such as buy-out or other exit strategies) – it will make it easier to find the right combination of collaborative partners.
If you don’t have this level of business plan created – DO IT NOW. Have this critical discussion and create your SMART goals. If she isn’t interested in discussing or signing such a business plan – execute your exit strategy with her and find someone else.

Your simple business plan should contain the following (but not limited to):

  • First step is to clearly articulate your company’s vision, mission, and purpose.
  • Outline the roles and duties that need to be covered to accomplish the above
  • Outline the financial needs and arrangements needed to cover the above
  • Outline the staff, sponsors, investors needed
  • Outline who will do what to acquire the above
  • Description of your products and services
  • Description of your market
  • Description of your strategy and implementation
  • Description of your financial plans
  • Exit strategy when you want to dissolve the company


If you need some assistance with developing your own business plan, please consider a one-on-one consultation.
I know your situation is different. Why don’t we schedule an appointment, where I get to know more about your unique situation? And then I will be happy to make recommendations on what your best steps are moving forward.  To schedule an appointment, book it HERE.

With enough notice, it would be my honor to guest-speak at no cost to your group organization.

I have a monthly presentation on “how to say YES to everything but on your own terms”.  To sign up for the complimentary course, go to




About the Author

Laura is a Corporate Exit Strategist for the Blooming Entrepreneur. She is a certified business and personal life coach, specializing in time management skills, project management training and work/life balance strategies. She has been in the software and testing industry for over 20 years. She’s worked with such companies as IBM, Ericsson, Staples, Fidelity Investments and Sogeti in various client advocacy and project management roles. The techniques she uses in her business coaching and client advocacy work saved these companies both time and money, which resulted in on-time, quality product delivery with higher client satisfaction. Laura now uses her client focus, project, quality and people management skills in her personal life coaching career. As a personal life coach, she helps people transform their life by integrating their goals and dreams into their everyday lives. Laura uses creative and practical tools to help her clients realize what really matters to them. She helps others to easily transition into their next chapter whether it’s the next ladder of success within their corporate environment or into the entrepreneurial playground. I am not a fan of choosing to act in spite of fear. Rather, together we will collaborate toward a plan of inspired action. We will develop a plan together that you feel confident and excited about. For us, Taking The Leap will be magical, exhilarating and natural. If you are eager to take that next logical step but are unsure what it is signup for the Corporate Exit Strategy Coaching group. We have books, tapes, training materials, twice-monthly group coaching events, 3-day workshops, and individual coaching sessions to help you on your way toward your freedom and prosperity.
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