Starting a business with friends: Great strategy or recipe for disaster?

Business can be tough when you don’t see eye-to-eye with your business partner. In fact, it can become downright impossible and your company can suffer as a result.

Many entrepreneurs find a great out for this pickle – choosing a business partner they’re already great friends with. At least you can be sure there won’t be any quibbles over silly arguments, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not always quite that simple. Here are some of ways to ensure your business partnership with your best friend doesn’t spell disaster.

Great minds

While you may want to work with your best friend because of the great fun you have, you need to remember what’s important when building a new business.

Think logically about how you work on a variety of different tasks together; most importantly, how good you are at problem-solving as a team.

Consider what aspects of business you excel at and then consider what qualities your ideal business partner would have. If they match up to your best friend’s qualities, you’re in luck!

Curb the arguments

In order to work together with a close friend, you need to know each other’s boundaries. You may think you know all there is to know about each other, but it’s best to outline your work ethics to make sure you can both be as productive as possible.

You can help avoid any nasty run-ins by communicating every qualm you have with your business partner. If you have doubts or issues, you need to get them out in the open so you can deal with them rather than bottling them up and letting it all out in the middle of delivering a vital pitch.

Take time apart

Many co-founders live in each other’s pockets for at least the six months of starting up a new company. This may seem productive during the tentative first few months, but it’s best to be able to take time apart.

Whether it means heading to that conference alone or having a week off and going to see your parents, time apart will be well spent, although it may not seem productive at the time.

Define success

One of the main reasons friends become business partners is because there is an element of trust that can’t be reached in ordinary business partnerships until the later stages.

This trust is vital if you want your partnership to work. Without it, you’re simply wasting your time. But however much trust there is, you need to make sure you both want the same end goal. Many people’s definition of success is different, which is why it’s important to check yours are the same as your partner’s.

Are you in a tumultuous business relationship with a former friend? Or is your BFF the perfect business partner? Leave your comments in the section below!



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