Either you’ve thought about it or you know someone who has: going into business with a good friend seems like a wonderful idea. Why wouldn’t it be? You already trust them, you know their habits, and you can communicate and aspire to the same goals. It does seem like the perfect mix, but there are some things you need to watch out for.
- You understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This makes it easier to assign roles and responsibilities. You’re confident that they are emotionally stable, organized, and focused on the big picture.
- Company Culture. Good company culture keeps morale high, attracts top talent, and keeps employees loyal. A healthy friendship can set the tone for a healthy workplace.
- Strategic Thinking. Your friend should have a compelling value proposition that you lack. Be strategic about what you need and partner with someone that will help you be a more well-rounded owner.
- Support. You will be with this friend for long days and sometimes long nights. It’s important that they support you and encourage you when your motivation waivers.
- You have similar networks. This may seem good at first, but the reality of it is your business will succeed or fail based on who you know and what introductions you can get.
- Taking orders. How ready are you to start taking orders from your friend? Make sure you are comfortable with the idea of swallowing your pride here and there and treating your partner with the professional respect of a coworker – not a friend.
- If it fails. You don’t want to think about it, but if your business fails what will become of your friendship? You need to know that your partner will stick through the good, the bad and the ugly.
- Hurting each other’s feelings. Do not spare your thoughts simply because they are your friend. You need to be open and communicate, even if what you have to say won’t be positive.
Related Article: 8 Guidelines for Friends and Family Startup Funding
The myth that going into business with your friends is a bad idea is almost too broad a statement. It depends on your personality and your friendship, it could turn out to be a very strategic idea.