by Kenneth S. Gadd and Thomas J. Reed, Jr.

Since earlier this year there have been two threads going on in the press regarding a unique Silicon Valley startup called SnapChat. The first is pretty typical: new image-based technology firm is adopted by the socially-connected crowd, raises crazy VC capital, should be snapped up any day now by Facebook, Google, etc. The other is a bit more sinister.

It has nothing to do with Big Brother or yet more erosion of your online privacy, relax there, but the story includes issues that Gadd Business Consultants (GBC) has seen its fair share of. It is the challenge that occurs when balancing relationships with business partnerships.

When working with organizations where two or more individuals are coming together to form a business, especially if they have been friends, Ken our founder likes to remind them that developing business partnerships are like marriage. In fact, he says, partners are apt to spend more time together than spouses and like any close-knit relationships there are going to be disagreements — especially when living out of each other’s money.

That is why it is important to have a clear understanding and agreement, in writing, in place that addresses how such disagreements will be handled. As Ken says, it’s hard to come to an agreement when their throwing the dishes. We have worked closely with many partnerships, LLC’s and small closely-held private corporations through the process of establishing the optimal organizational business structure, facilitating conflict resolution, and assisting in team building in a way that addresses as many potential what if’s as possible. And for those of us who have spent any significant time in relationships there is the realization that there can be more than a couple “what ifs”.

Our goal at GBC is to address as many of these situations as possible in advance so as to help assure a long, healthy and prosperous relationship.  We love anniversaries.

It helps to have planning and strategy for these issues nailed down up front keeping all parties on the same page and avoiding the issues SnapChat is dealing with today.

Again, we at GBC, we help clients address the questions of business structure; we analyze the needs of a growing organization and help implement solutions that serve to preserve the collective peace of mind within the organization and put it on firm footing for the future.

Leave a comment below and let us know how you handled a sticky situation between partners, friends or employees.

Gadd Business Consultants, solving structure and partnership/relationship issues in the business, non-profit and faith-based communities for over 30 years. Contact us today.