Category Archives: Business Structures


Good communication so critical in virtual businesses

It was a ‘typical Monday’ today …. but a few things that happened throughout the busy day made me realize, yet again, about how important good communication for those ’sticky situations’ is in a virtual organization.

I’ve been working virtually for 6 years and have certainly run into my share of ’sticky’ situations that may have been avoided had they been in a typical office environment.

Since we rely so heavily on email correspondence – it’s absolutely critical that we remember a few key points when it comes to these challenging situations and how we handle the communication around them. Good communication with our colleagues, clients, prospects – everyone goes a long way and it will either keep or bruise your reputation. In fact, it can make or break your relationships if you’re not careful.

Those who know me well know that I’m a bit ’sensitive’ when it comes to communication. I really (really!) try to word my emails in such a way that they don’t come across as insulting, impatient, rude, or like I’m blaming or selling someone out. If I receive an email that implies any of these – I get a tad bit cranky – just as I’m sure many others would, depending on the content.

So here’s just a few tips to consider before hitting that send button in an unpleasant situation. Remember, there’s no way to retrieve those words once you have sent them …

  • If you receive an email that upsets you – close it and come back to it later. If you fire off a response before you settle your emotions, you may include things you really didn’t want (or need) to say and completely jeopardize your relationship. Take a few minutes and revisit the email later and respond then.
  • Before you hit that send button – read your email one last time. If you received this email – would it upset you? Take the time to re-read and make sure it says what you want to say without causing conflict.
  • Select your words wisely. Make sure the words you use will not make the other person feel like you are attacking them in any way. Again, ask yourself if the words used would upset you if you were on the receiving end.
  • Decide if it’s really worth a response. Sometimes it’s just not worth responding to an email. If it’s something that should be ‘dropped’, then leave it as is. You may feel like you need to put in the last word but is it really worth it? Likely not.
  • Think about other options – would it be better to pick up the phone and talk to the person instead of sending an email? Going the extra step and clarifying a situation voice-to-voice can save a relationship. Take a few minutes to think of the points you want to cover. Don’t act defensive …. talk it out and you’ll likely feel much better immediately after.

These are tips we all know but tend to forget in difficult situations. Think of them next time you receive an irritating email … it may save you a few gray hairs! 🙂

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Business Structures: Partnerships

Before getting into a business partnership arrangement, a meeting of the minds must exist before signing a contract. Business partner roles must be clearly written in the contract. Each partner must fully understand their responsibilities as they apply to their situation.

Experts recommend that the members of any business partnership agree first on who will handle management duties, financial responsibilities, advertising, marketing, even equipment concerns. This will corner any future concerns which might arise over who is responsible for what duties.

The percentage of the profits each will receive also must be written into the contract. A specific clause in the contract should state how the partnership will terminate or what terms should be present to end the business.

Now, let’s take a look at another form called limited partnership. In a limited partnership the business partners only risk an agreed upon investment in the business. This is a popular form of partnership with much lower risk factors.

Business partners should seek the services of an attorney to draw up the partnership contracts. This will protect all members of the partnership in the long run.

Business Partnership Advantages

Partnerships are more flexible than dealing with corporations although less flexible than a sole proprietorship.

The business partnership pays no federal or state taxes. The profits obtained from the business go directly to the partners in the business.

Business partnerships like proprietorships pay no state or federal tax. Although, partners are required to pay personal tax on all business profits.

Money to invest in the business is easier to obtain for a partnership than a sole proprietorship because there are multiple partners with money to invest in the business.

The experience of all the business partners only adds to the advantages.

Business Partnership Disadvantages

If one partner dies or wishes to leave, the partnership will terminate. Buy out issues might arise. This is one reason why buy out issues should be covered in a written contract before entering into the partnership.

Business partnerships often find it difficult to obtain financing as easily as a major corporation.

Each partner is liable for the business debts incurred by other business partners or the business transactions. So if one business partner makes a bad decision which cost the company plenty the other partners will also be liable for the debt.

Issues pop up suddenly when the partnership terminates. This concern must be covered in the contract agreement. And the contract signed by all business partners.

In conclusion, a business partnership might be the best alternative for you if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in your business situation.