Business with friends?
"You should never go into business with friends or family” is a common phrase that I hear over and over. For many this is true, and it was one of the reasons why my first business didn’t work out.
In my experience, business with a friend can transform that friendship into something amazing and invaluable. A friendship that can go through the fire of business and survive will not only be strong, but it will be family.
For those of you who decide to embark on this exciting and potentially risky journey with you friend, you are about to experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. You will most likely talk to this friend more than your partner and you will see the best and the worst of each other.
A few principles that have helped me are:
You must 100% trust that you are both trying to do what is best for the business. If you have any doubt with regards to whether you trust them, it is best you avoid getting into business together.
Being open and honest and speaking up when you have a problem is not easy. Being willing to call each other out when there is a problem will greatly improve your relationship in the long term. That being said it took me 2 years before we were comfortable with speaking freely and knowing that the other party will not be offended.
Most importantly, care about each other and genuinely want what’s best for each other. It may mean that everyone puts different amounts of input. Be ok in that and trust that they are doing the best they can
Finally, remember business is business and you must not take things personally.
Good luck and most importantly have fun!
“Family are the people you are born with; friends are the family you choose” – Edna Buchanan