Four simple steps saved Scott and Barry from a bad business breakup; 10 years on and they have opened multiple locations and are the best of friends.
Red flags that your business relationship is becoming toxic.
Tactics to manage business relationships to build trust (and have fun).
Admitting deficiencies and communicating them in a way that won’t be misinterpreted.
Warning signs of being in the wrong role and how it presents a roadblock in business.
Unfailing habits for nurturing strong business partnerships.
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A business relationship, like a marriage, takes work. Neglect your partner, and the next thing you know, you’re heading down a slippery slope to the D-word … Disaster!
On average, 70% of business partnerships fail. Why?
Typically, two people will partner and then go all-out finding the right staff, building their client base, growing sales, and juggling a million different balls. They assume their relationship is gold. That assumption soon comes back to bite them, well, on the ass.
That’s what happened to Scott Foran and Barry Hartman of 505-Junk, our guests on this episode of Contractor Evolution. About 10 years ago these two college friends launched 505-Junk, a junk removal and recycling company specializing in commercial, construction, and residential pickups throughout Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley.
Scott and Barry started with one truck and today haul about 9 million pounds of debris annually from multiple locations. But their initial success was accompanied by squabbling (okay, fighting) and they realized that the fun of their venture was evaporating.
Instead of ignoring the problem, they tackled it head-on, first by reading self-help books and then enrolling in Breakthrough Academy, where they discovered the root of the issues. Today they’ve got a great handle on their relationship, and 505-Junk has really taken off.
All of their bickering (and some of it is hilarious!) is laid bare in this episode, along with the steps they took to create a lasting relationship.
Here are four takeaways:
1 – Improve Communication
Early on, Scott and Barry realized how little they actually communicated. “I would sense his body language and the words he was saying, and I would make it mean something completely different in my head. And when I came into a conversation, my wall and my defenses were already up, and I wasn’t willing to receive any form of communication,” says Scott.
In other words, admitting your own deficiencies is the key to solving them.
2 – Find The Right Seat
Barry was in sales, Scott was in operations management, but after doing a relationship analysis they discovered they were in fact in the wrong roles! “Once we put Scott in sales, he just took off,” Barry recalls, adding that he found his true niche supporting his management team through strategic planning.
3 – Draw Lines In The Sand
Once they changed their roles, it took effort for Scott and Barry to break the habit of wandering back to the other side. “It took a while for me to stop,” Scott says. “But eventually, after repetition, it’ll stick into your head. Here’s your seat on the bus. And you can actually sit in it and you’ll like it.”
4 – Continue To Nurture Your Relationship
Often this means taking a personal interest in each other. The importance of this for Scott and Barry was hammered home when they started arguing again and Scott realized that “hanging out with each other wasn’t really high on our priority list, because we see each other every day at work.” Today, twice a month, they have a beer and chill. Something so simple, and yet it’s made a world of difference to their professional lives.
Scott and Barry are amazing partners with tons of advice to share, so check out this episode and learn the tricks to keeping a relationship on track.