Chris writes, “Buzz, I'm in an equal business partnership with one other person. Things started well and our business has been successful. Unfortunately, we've been disagreeing more and more lately about the direction our business should take. What should we do?”
“Chris, disagreements are common in business partnerships. The ones that stick together and do well can work though them, but every partnership faces them at some point. Before doing anything drastic, ask yourself if your visions are really far apart. If they're not, see if there is a way that they can be combined, or perhaps you can each take half of the business and keep it as the same business and simply operate two slightly separate halves… even going so far as to brand them as ‘divisions'. If your visions are really far apart, you've got some harder decisions to make. Is your business worth the hassle of disagreement? It might be easier and less stressful to simply sell out and move along. Although no one really wants that to happen, a strained partnership is actually the worse option.”
I've also written an article about this issue on MoreBusiness.com and provided help for partnerships in the planning stages.