Build a successful business without losing your friend in the process.
Starting a business and growing it from the ground up often requires more than one person’s skills. Some people get around this by teaming up with a friend. They think that this is a good decision since they both have great ideas and already know each other well.
However, this may not always work in your favor. A lot of friendships have ended on a sour note as business partners find themselves clashing over a number of things. To sustain your business partnership and avoid having your friendship end up in a divorce, here are some useful suggestions that you may want to consider.
How to Start Business with a Friend: Some Tips to Consider
Decide if you really need a partner. Business partnerships work well if you and your potential partner’s skills complement each other, or your partner has something that you lack (financial skills and/or connections). Consider this thing carefully before you take on a partner in establishing your business.
Clarify your roles, goals and expectations. Decide on what role each one of you will play in the partnership and allocate work more evenly between the two of you. Resentment usually sets in if one partner carries more workload than the other. You should also determine if you share the same goals and vision for the business, and clarify what you need and expect from each other to avoid any misunderstandings.
Get it into writing. You need to get your paperwork in order to help you protect your friendship and your business partnership. Have a qualified, mutually agreed upon lawyer prepare a partnership agreement and have it signed by both parties. This can help you settle any issues that may arise in the future.
Keep communication lines open. When running a business, you will surely encounter some bumps along the way so you need to establish how you will give feedback to each other. For best results, consider having regular meetings or feedback sessions.
Spend some time apart. Since starting a business can be extremely challenging, you may have to spend countless hours with your business partner. This increases the possibility that you will argue and clash at times so you should consider spending some time apart so both of you can get the space that you need.
Decide how you will handle conflict. To avoid conflicts, you and your partner should listen to what the other has to say without being judgmental and without taking things personally. Agree on this early on in the relationship and you can surely have a successful personal and business relationship.
Follow these suggestions and you will surely have a thriving business without losing a friend.