How to Spot the Bad Business Relationship

You can waste a lot of time and energy on business relationships which are going nowhere. Rooting out the bad ones early will mean huge savings in the long run.

The most productive relationships are founded on trust, respect and mutual appreciation. When it comes to business, you can throw a lot of time, energy and hard cash at relationships which are doomed to go nowhere. Whether you're partnering with another company or taking a client for a business dinner, you have to be able to spot relationships which aren't worth the effort.

Weeding out bad business relationships frees you up to invest more in those which do matter. Worthwhile relationships are mutually beneficial, where nobody feels they're the lesser partner or being taken advantage of. So how do you spot the ones which have turned sour?

A lot relies on gut instinct. If you feel you're being mistreated, you probably are. If the other party no longer shares your vision, lacks your enthusiasm, tries to shirk responsibility and is inflexible when it comes to requests, then they're a drain on your resources.

Ask yourself if they're giving direct answers to your questions, because vague replies are often a sign they've either lost interest or there's something going on behind the scenes.

Do they always seem in a rush to get things done, usually to their advantage? Are they clear enough on deliverables? Do they respect your time? Do they show the same interest in you as you do in them?

If the answers are no, it's time to cut and run. By spending too much time on business relationships which have turned bad, you neglect the real keepers. Those are the ones you should channel all your energies into.


They lack your vision and enthusiasm
They avoid responsibility
They are inflexible
They're always rushing you
They don't respect your time