SENSE & SENSITIVITY
Managing expectations important in business
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have rekindled a business relationship that began some 20 years ago. My business partner was excellent back in the day, and I’m excited about the possibility of working with him again now. My concern is that last time we worked very hard on an idea that never really went far. We pitched it to all the right places, but it fell flat.
Now we are tweaking an idea and believe the market will be better for us this time around, but what if it isn’t? I don’t want to waste this man’s time or my own. Do you think we should go for it and see if we can create a moneymaking opportunity? I want to manage expectations. -Being Realistic, Westchester, New York
DEAR BEING REALISTIC: Before you start down the road of working together, have a frank conversation about the past and the future. Outline what your business relationship will be and clarify expectations on both sides. Acknowledge that neither of you can predict the future. Be sure you both agree that the project you are exploring is worth the effort. Along the way, check in with each other regularly to ensure you are comfortable with the work being done and the results being achieved. Decide on deadlines and clear markers for success or evaluation. As long as you communicate clearly and honestly, you should be OK.