How would you feel if you found posts in which your employees are criticizing your clients and your products/services in a public forum?
How would you feel if you found your business partner demeaning you in a public forum?
Actual quotes* found on the Net in a one-minute Google search (top of the first search engine page):
"Yeah, I know, terrible logo, yada yada. But I have to admit I have a fondness for it. I am not saying it is a bastion of concept and design by any means." - included link to client website
"please note that I did not make this logo. my client came to me with it and i told them about 1,000,000 reasons why it’s a bad logo and they don’t seem to get it. i thought i could get some more reasons from you designer geniuses so go ahead and give me your top 3 reasons why this logo sucks!" - included image of client logo with client's name
"Okay so my boss is really stupid! It's almost like talking to a brick wall, he is completely rediclious in all of his decisions and is so quick to blame everyone for his mistakes." -
"My husband and I own 51% of the business. Our business partner and his wife have an unstable marriage, horrible credit, horrible money skills, and no business sense."
"I know more about SEO and SEM than my partner. poor thing is freaking because she is head of sales and can't wrap her head around SEO and SEM to sell it effectively. she is thinking of giving up on trying to sell it. I know it is a BAD idea. can anyone help me explain the two better so an average (she's above average, actually) sales person can sell it to the average public? I've read and passed on several things I've found published online, but I don't think she is taking the time to really read the stuff." - found company and partner's name in three link steps
If you don't know what's being said about you and your business, it is worth an hour or two to find out!
Don't let negative, angry people ruin your business and client relationships. Have a frank discussion with your employees about what is acceptable and not acceptable in discussing business matters.
First, your clients should never be publicly excoriated. Employees shouldn't be discussing private business matters in a public forum, but people being people, the firm rule should be to never mention the client by name or revealing details.
Second, you should have a respectful relationship with your employees. Your employees should have an opportunity to discuss issues with you in person and in private. They shouldn't reveal private business details in a public forum, but again, people talk, so the firm rule should be never mention the business or boss by name or revealing details.
Third, your business partner and you should have written into the operating agreement that neither will bash the other in a public forum. Period. Doing so makes both of you look bad and could negatively impact your business.
*All quotes were copy/pasted, so misspellings and grammatical errors are the original authors.