Pros and cons of going into business with a friend

VV 12 Nov 2a

It sounds like a great idea at the time – but going into business with a friend has its pros and cons…

Some of the greats have done it – Jobs and Wozniak, Ben and Jerry, Gates and Allen. All these businesses were started by friends wanting to do something big.

But for every success story, there are tales of friendships falling apart over money, power and whose name comes first on the sign.

Best Friends Forever
There are a number of good reasons why you’re best friends and why you decided going into business was a good idea.

1. You have been through worse
Most friends have been through thick and thin together. Even when things got bad, your friends were the ones you turned to for everything from advice to emotional support. You wouldn’t get this kind of personal investment from an angel investor.

2. You can trust each other
Trust in business is hugely important and often underrated. An outside investor could just be providing you with funds to make a quick buck, whereas you know that your friend is in this for the same reasons you are.

3. Know each other’s strengths and weaknesses
It’s not just whether one of you can handling the marketing and another the figures – working with a friend means you know their personal strengths, such as whether they can handle pressure situations, are always on time or need motivation when things go wrong. Knowing all this means you can ride the ups and downs of a new business much more smoothly.

VV 12 Nov

Know your enemy
Those who know you best can often be the ones that annoy you most.

1. Power struggles
You probably laid out at the start that it’d be 50/50, but in reality one of you needs to take the lead. Split second decisions need to be made and you can’t always be contacting your friend for their input. This can lead to power struggles as naturally, one of you will start to make more decisions.

2. Small issues become bigger when money’s involved
Remember that time when your friend showed up an hour late to that party? Or when they accidently sent you a personal text that was meant for their girlfriend? Funny at the time, but when you add contracts, deliveries, clients, and money to the mix, these little annoyances start to mean a lot more.

3. Taking advantage of each other
Sometimes, you might need someone to work late or to meet a client early in the morning. It’s the sort of request you might feel uncomfortable asking an employee to do, but as your partner is your friend surely you could call in a favour. In the end, you might end up taking advantage of your friendship without knowing it.

Posted by The Secret Businessman