What Indicates that Your Business Partner Is Bad for You?

business partners arguing

Most business partnerships don’t end up well. Many can’t formalize the issues because of the several factors that conflict with the agreement. In contrast, others suffer due to poor communication or the lack of proper approaches in accomplishing goals.

Because of this, partners need to be aware of the current deals and partnerships, especially if there are obvious signs that things are not going as they think they would. Being informed about what’s going on can help the business find a partnership with someone else as early as possible.

Characteristics of a Bad Business Partner

If you notice your business partner exhibiting the following characteristics, it’s probably time to plan and save the business while you still can.

Poor Communication

One of the obvious signs that the partnership won’t work is if a partner cannot communicate properly. They cannot relay information to you, their instructions are vague, and their goals are not unclear.

If your partner usually responds late or isn’t clear about what they want to say, that’s a sign that it’s probably best to end the partnership. Their ability to communicate says a lot about them as a person. If they do not possess this simple skill, you can’t expect them to excel in managing the business with you.

Contradicting Vision and Mission

Whether working with a partner or a team, a person’s vision and mission should always be aligned. You can expect misunderstandings and chaos if your partner isn’t on the same page. In other terms, both of you need to be on the same path to make the partnership work.

For example, you started a business with your partner, checking listings of real estate. And one of your missions is to grow together and learn more to offer the best services in the area. However, your partner does not take the time to study how selling works, which is vital in the development of the business.


Your business partner should be consistent, from beginning to processing, up till the very end of your transactions. One of the most common signs of a bad business partner is inconsistency. Most often, they only think about the benefits they will get, and if that’s the case, the business could suffer. The key is to observe how they deal with things they cannot control. Are they willing to sacrifice? Or will they let the business suffer instead?

Unclear Answers

When you speak with your partner, do they answer you with certainty? Or are they always unsure of the things they are talking about? You want to work with someone who can give your direct answers, no matter the topic. If not, your partner could be dishonest with you or secretive.

Lack of Responsibility

Indeed, no one is perfect. And your partner can make several mistakes in the process. However, how they react to those mistakes is a deal-breaker. Do they own up to their errors or point fingers? Do they keep making excuses? If your partner acts this way, talk to them.

It would be advisable to give them a chance to explain, especially if they rarely make mistakes. But if it happens too often, and they don’t practice accountability, it’s time to find a new partner.

Trash Talking People

Professionalism is important! And an individual who trash talks about you or your staff is highly unprofessional. The behavior is not just limited to the members of the company. If they are trash talking about their past clients or recent business partners, there’s a high chance that they would do the same to you once the partnership is over. So before they start damaging the relationships inside the company, eliminate them.

Disrespecting Your Time
clock ringing beside a lampshade inside a bedroom

According to seasoned entrepreneurs, one of the biggest red flags is when a business partner does not respect other people’s time. They come to work late, don’t answer their phone, and always reschedule a meeting. This is also an indication that they are lazy. A business partner who practices these habits does not respect that you’ve exerted effort for them. It’s also a subtle way of saying they don’t care.

Things to Look for in a Business Partner

Now that we’ve talked about the characteristics of a bad business partner, here are the attributes of a great one:

  • Solution-oriented
  • With an excellent reputable background
  • Share the same values as yours
  • Always want what’s fair for both parties
  • Can communicate efficiently.
  • They complement and match your skills
  • Does the job and finish their tasks


A business partnership is all about working together to accomplish the business’s goals. Your partner should walk on the same path as you and value the mission and vision of the company. Otherwise, they might be the reason why your business won’t succeed, so choose wisely.


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