Your friends are there for you through thick and thin. They were likely also there in the early stages of starting your own business. You may have had one friend who helped you generate ideas, or even do some of the initial work to get your new business going.
After doing all that work together, it may seem natural to invite your friend to be part of your business venture. While some friends can also be good business partners, it often results in hard feelings and can be detrimental to your business’ success.
Here’s what you should consider before going into business with your friend by your side.
Lack of definition in roles
Many businesses start out with a few people doing a lot of different jobs. When you have a limited budget (or no budget at all) for staffing, it is often important for everyone to pitch in wherever they can.
Initially, it can be helpful that you and your friend can both do a little of each other’s jobs, but that is a short-term solution. As time goes on, you will both get frustrated and feel like you are doing everything. Since friends can have a hard time speaking up about situations like this, you may find yourselves frustrated and unsure of who is responsible for certain jobs.
Difficult to ask for more effort
The great thing about friends is that they understand all the obstacles you have in life. If you are going through a busy family season, or are facing a chronic illness, they are often the first to know.
It can be comforting to know the people you work with have this understating of each other, but you also need to consider the needs of the business. If your friend starts taking advantage of your understanding, it may be difficult to tell them they need to go back to doing more.
No one thinks they are going to have issues with going into business with a friend until there is conflict and the business is in jeopardy. If you are going into business with a friend, make sure you have a candid talk about expectations and priorities before getting started.