Best friends as business partners: the pros and cons

Four young cheerful business people in smart casual wear having fun while racing on office chairs and smiling

Starting a business with your best friend sounds like a great project in theory, but it can have its ups and downs…

Some of the best businesses are started by best friends who hatch an idea organically and make it grow together.

But while many of these projects end up wildly successful, there are also tales of strains, arguments, and even destroyed friendships. Here are some pros and cons of mixing friendship with business and how you can keep things running smoothly if you decide to take the plunge…

There are some great reasons to go into business with your bestie.

1. You know each other really well
If you’ve known each other for a long time, chances are you’ve been through some tough times together. You know what rubs one another up the wrong way, what makes the other person tick, and how they think. This means you’re less likely to give each other any shocks and can more easily avoid unexpected clashes of opinion.

2. You know each other’s strong and weak points
Aside from knowing each other’s emotional strengths and weaknesses, you can also usually pinpoint where your respective talents lie.

They say opposites attract, meaning there are probably differences in the way you operate. If you’re a strict planner and organisation guru, and your partner a little more – let’s say – relaxed, perhaps you should be responsible for time management and planning meetings. If your partner is the creative genius, perhaps they can oversee branding or creative concepts. You’ll find that you slide into your respective roles quite easily.

Business people meeting at office and use post it notes to share idea. Brainstorming concept. Sticky note on glass wall.

3. You can rely on each other
One of the reasons you’ve been friends for so long is that you can rely on one another – you’ve been there for each other through ups and downs, through thick and thin. That means you can likely depend on one another and trust each other when it comes to business. You know that, despite any minor tiffs (which happen to everyone running a business together), you have each other’s backs.

When you’re really close to someone it can mean you get frustrated with them more easily…

1. The power struggle
You may plan on making sure every decision goes through both of you and that the workload will be split completely evenly – but in reality, this doesn’t always happen. It’s not always convenient to ask the other person what decision to make, so one partner usually has to take the lead from time to time.

Similarly, you’ll have differences of opinion, so make sure to stay professional when trying to come to a compromise, and don’t get too frustrated.

2. Money matters can be touch and go
Remember the days at university when you kept tabs on every penny your friend owed you? Remember pooling money for a fun day or night out? Starting a business together means that managing the same pot of money becomes an everyday occurrence, and you must be able to trust each other to be wise about spending.

Plus, losing a large sum of money on a business deal is very different to losing 20 quid from the uni kitty. Make sure you’re ready for these challenges and that your friendship can withstand them.

3. Don’t take advantage
Take care that you don’t accidentally take advantage of each other. Got a date and have to leave the office early? You might not feel comfortable asking an employee to cover for you, but surely your bestie will take one for the team? Ensure that you remain professional and you each pull your weight – it will make for a much longer and more prosperous partnership!


Posted by the Secret Businessman