How to avoid falling out with your business partner

by Guest Contributor

26 September, 2017

By Anthony Bennett
bennetthay.co.uk

Myself and Robin Hay co-founded the bespoke hospitality business Bennett Hay back in 2010. We now employ just over 200 people. Robin and I have worked together for the last 20 years, which is one of the main reasons we decided to set up Bennett Hay.

We found we had very complimentary skills, which I’d argue is an extremely important factor in a successful partnership. At the beginning we spent a great deal of time independently capturing what’s important to each of us before sharing our thoughts, just to double check we had the same drivers and passions – which, thankfully, we did!

Photography on behalf of Bennett Hay © Daniel Lewis.

Here are my top tips to avoid falling out:

Rather like any relationship, you have to keep the communication open and honest. Be up front with any issues and make time for debate.


Agree decision-making processes, allowing both autonomy and combined thinking. Pre-agreeing structures and processes lessens the likelihood of a fall out at a later stage.


Plan for growth and recognise the need to adjust behaviours and job roles as the company grows. Co-founders must be prepared to adapt to the changing business landscape; pre-empting eventualities from the very outset, and meeting up monthly to discuss the proposition, can help pave the way in future.


Sleep on a big decision before making it. Jointly agree to give each other plenty of time to reach an outcome; that way, you reduce unnecessary stress.


Hear each other out. You’ve entered into business together and both partners will possess different skills and experience; tap into and use it at all times. You never know what you’ll learn and discover from each other. A business can only ever grow if it’s challenged after all.


Stay true to your vision and business integrity. Continually believe in what you are here to do and where you want to take the business.