DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a business partner whom I want to buy out of our business. We integrated our two businesses because they went together hand in hand, and we were both able to offer the other a benefit. My business has been thriving since the partnership, but her business and programs have been plummeting. Enrollment is down, and I believe her increase in prices could be the cause of this. We have had meetings to plan ways to fix the drop in business, but she shoots down all of our ideas and suggestions.
This partnership isn’t working anymore. There is a lot of potential, but she is driving it into the ground. I know that the programs can improve, but my partner is the biggest obstacle. She is behind on rent, and money isn’t coming in. I am in a position where I can take on full ownership and buy her shares from her. She built the company 20 years ago, and I don’t want to hurt her feelings when I tell her this is her best and only option. How do I dump my partner? -- Reviving the Business
DEAR REVIVING THE BUSINESS: This is delicate territory. Do handle it with care. Sit down with your partner. Show her your books and point out the financial realities you're facing. Thank her for the time you have been partners and point out that the time has come for the relationship to change. Offer to buy her shares in a plan to liquidate the company. Give her space to think about it, express her emotions, etc. Ultimately, come up with a deadline to sever ties. Hire a lawyer to provide legal assistance.