« Business Continuity

Sometimes it’s a better business plan to walk away

Microsoft and NBC News parted ways after 16 years of partnership in order for each company to have more freedom in online ventures.
Microsoft and NBC News parted ways after 16 years of partnership in order for each company to have more freedom in online ventures.

Continuously underlined in this blog is the importance of businesses being properly prepared for any situation, from floods and fires to workplace scandals that could leave a company with a poor reputation. Some struggling organizations or enterprises are able to salvage themselves by merging with another company, especially when bankruptcy is a factor. However, sometimes a business continuity plan consists of the opposite move – one business separating itself from another in order to grow stronger.

Such is the case with Microsoft and NBC News, two successful companies that ended their partnership after 16 years. MSNBC.com is now NBCNews.com and the software giant is now free to build its own online news service.

According to the Associated Press, specific terms of the deal have not yet been revealed but unnamed sources cited in the New York Times said Microsoft will receive about $300 million in exchange for its 50 percent stake in the joint venture.

As the Internet became a greater factor in each company's business, both parties wanted greater control of their online enterprises, yet found themselves constrained by the partnership.

Bob Visse, general manager of Microsoft's MSN portal and a board member of the former MSNBC joint venture told the Associated Press that being limited to MSNBC.com content was problematic because "we couldn’t have the multiple news sources and the multiple perspectives that our users were telling us that they wanted."

Walking away from a business venture shouldn't be looked at as a sign of quitting, wrote Adam Toren in a Young Entrepreneur article. On the contrary, he said, success is about letting go of your current dream so that you can make room for others.

As such, businesses should not be afraid to adjust their business model in order to stay afloat. Working with a business continuity consultant can better prepare a company for any types of situation that involves the betterment of the organization, whether it's forging with another business or breaking away from one.