Starting a business with a close friend comes with its own unique challenges. Here are a few things to keep in mind…
So, you love the idea of starting your own business. But, you don’t think you have what it takes to go it alone. You might find yourself searching for a business partner. Plenty of investors and strangers may be available to help bring your company to life. Most people prefer to go into business with someone they know well – like a close friend.
Starting a company with a friend is a great way to spend your career doing something you’re passionate about. Remember that working with a friend comes with its own unique challenges that you need to consider. The last thing you would want is to end up in a dispute with a family member or friend.
Here’s a few things you’ll need to remember when you decide to start a business with your friend.
1. Maintain Constant Communication
You and your friend will have other things to focus on besides business. It’s important to make sure that you’re both giving the company the right amount of attention. Establish rules early on about the kind of communication you’ll use and how frequently you get in touch. This will make sure that no-one makes any important decisions without the other.
Arguments typically happen in a business environments when friends decide that they should have the authority to make a crucial choice without their partner’s agreement. Ensuring that you’re always ready to communicate about the difficult things should ensure that you don’t end up ruining the relationship and the business.
2. Define Roles Early On
Friends and business partners both have a unique set of skills and talents to bring to the table. The best way to keep problems to a minimum is to decide on your responsibilities are ahead of time. If you have skills in marketing then it makes sense that you would handle the promotional aspects of the business.
If your friend knows a lot about manufacturing then they could be responsible for dealing with the logistics. Make sure that you’re both happy with what you’ll be doing for the company. Remember that you can turn to each other for extra help if needed.
3. Maintain a Professional Attitude
You need to convey a professional image to everyone that you interact with. Always make sure that you know when to leave the friendly banter behind you in the office.
Maintaining a professional attitude also includes knowing when it’s time to bring additional people into the team. Don’t force yourself to remain a small team forever. If you know that you need extra skills to help your business grow. Trying to do things you are not qualified to do will waste time and money. It’s smarter to hire someone who knows what they’re doing so you don’t end up wasting money in the long-term.
4. Know Where the Money is Coming From
Going into business with your friend might require you both to contribute some cash to the initial set-up. Learn how to bypass fights over ownership percentages by figuring out how much money you need to get started. Know how much money you need will allow you to split the figure down the middle.
After knowing how much money you each need to offer up, you can go out and start looking for credit. This will give you the cash you need to move your business forward. Be sure to compare your options so that you can make sure you’re getting the best deal and interest rates.
5. Learn How to Manage your Friendship
Finally, it’s important to be realistic about the fact that you may not always agree on everything. Sometimes, decisions may need to be made for the good of the business that one person may not agree with. People need to be willing to look at the bigger picture and forgive their friend from taking the initiative.
It is important that you leave your ego behind when starting a business with a friend. Realize that in this kind of relationship, it can’t always be your way or the highway.