Navigating Complicated Business Affiliations
Many companies encounter problems in their early stages of their business that the business owners could never anticipate when starting the company. This is especially true as the company grows. Outside vendors will have formed business relationships with the company before they were able to actually visualize the success that the company would experience. These integral business vendors may then attempt to capitalize on this success by attempting to renegotiate solid deals.
The pressure from these interests will often be aggressive because these vendors will feel entitled because of an ill-conceived and outsized perception of their company’s influence on this success. Their demands may also be exaggerated and unreasonable because of these same reasons, but there may be some validity in some cases.
The conflict will play out with a constant barrage of often confusing but always frustrating text and email messages. Often this ends with threats from the offended vendor of personal and business character assassination. This is a significant threat because the vendors that utilize these tactics are often well connected with very large networks, and they can potentially inflict real harm on the business.
Swift Emotional Reaction Issues
Knee-jerk reactions are very damaging now that most business communications are done by electronic or digital means like e-mail and text messages. These methods of communication are technologically advanced, but they also can be confusing because of the inability of the technology to accurately translate this type of digital communication into real life, nuanced conversation. This causes these conflicts to quickly become litigious. The acumen required to properly diffuse and resolve these conflicts is not easily learned.
A better resolution to these problems could have been thoughtful conflict resolution. Often the drive and pride of accomplishment that initiates a person to start a business precludes these same people from being aggressive at a perceived threat. A better path forward would have been to negotiate with the vendor and continued the relationship unabated. Taking the proper path forward with forethought instead of pride would have avoided these issues. It would have also fostered goodwill throughout the same network in which the company was maligned in as a result of the irreparable, improper conflict resolution.
The quick reaction is understandable when the desire that is required to become a business owner is considered. The stakes of the endeavor will affect the future of the owner, their family and those of their employees and partners in a very significant way. The pride of the owner that is bolstered by success and the pressure to continue this success makes the business owner sensitive to outside advice even from people that are vested in the company’s success that may seem implausible or outright counter-intuitive.
In these cases, it is important for the business owner to attempt to see the situation from the point-of view of the disgruntled vendor. Instead of becoming insulted by the implications of the demands, an owner can temper these demands by conveying to the vendor all of the processes and payouts that are required to build this success. A meeting of the minds can produce a continued relationship based on realistic views of both businesses while also gaining deeper insight and empathy for the vendor’s plight.
Utilizing the Delayed Response Method
The most appropriate initial step would have been for owners to give themselves a complete day before responding to the seemingly unreasonable and insulting request. The next step would be to invite the disgruntled networking vendor to a formal meeting to discuss a new mutually beneficial contract if necessary. Instead of costing the developing business the damage that is caused by the impulsive swift reaction to the request, the now defunct relationship could have not only been salvaged, but reversed into a significant positive. This full day of contemplation before responding is a rule from which no business owner should stray.
The alternate point of view that is derived from this forced 24-hour hiatus allows the business owner to gain a perspective that is most conducive to the success of the business and that of the vendor. The rationality will not only calm the situation down, but it will also allow the business owner to explain the reasons for being hesitant about the demands in a respectful tone that will almost guarantee a mutually beneficial compromise.
Cool heads are reticent in properly planning and attaining the future trajectory of the company, and the people involved in the effort deserve contemplative, thoughtful responses to every problem that the company will face in its rise to greatness. The 24 hour response rule will be effective in attaining this forethought, and in planning a trajectory that is free of self-inflicted issues that often end in litigation like quick, knee-jerk reactions to solvable problems.
From the Author:
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