Working with friends sounds like a fantastic idea. Until it’s not. Loving spending time with someone is not the only thing to worry about. A lot more goes into running a business with a friend. There are many things that you should discuss and consider before taking the plunge. Start by thinking about some of these common issues.
Trust is huge. As a friend, this shouldn’t be an issue. If you don’t have complete confidence in the other person, you should not go into business with them. There is hopefully going to be money involved, and you will want to feel confident that they will not cheat you. Also, when tasks are assigned, you will need to know that they will pull their weight. Starting a business is hard, and without trust, it will be impossible.
Being too similar could hurt your business. It will be a good thing if you have different strengths. Having two people great with social media may seem reasonable. Until it is time to do the taxes, and no one has taken care of the books. Every business needs people with different strengths. Being opposites will help you succeed.
Communication is essential for any business, not just one made of friends. Without excellent communication, it will not work. When conflict arises, and it will, you need to be able to talk through them. Feelings should be expressed so that work issues do not affect your friendship. You are friends first and business partners second.
Have a clear line of who is in charge of what. Each person needs to be carrying their share of the duties. Unless you are going to be compensated differently. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be times that you need to pick up the slack for each other. Life happens, and in any workplace, there are times we must adjust. But one person should not be shouldering the majority of the work regularly.
Check the ego at the door. They are your friend. You are not competing. Feeding your ego is a quick way to end a friendship. You should be working to build each other up. The better you both do, the better your business will do. Making them feel bad will not only hurt your relationship but will cut your bottom line. Someone who is not feeling depressed is not going to be trying hard.
Always put your friendship before your business. Business is business. It will come and go. Your friendship is one of a kind. When your work gets in the way of your relationship, it’s time to put an end to it. There is another job out there. Don’t ruin your personal life to improve your professional experience.
Working with friends could be the best experience in your life, or it could end a friendship. Give it the best possible chance by communicating and staying true to yourselves.