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The old song goes “friendship is the perfect blendship”. But is that the case when you work together? Owning a business isn’t easy, if it was everyone would do it. The fact is about 80% of new business fail their first year. Does working with your best friend stack the odds against you even more? You know the “ins and outs” of each other which is a great support but the fact is most partnerships do not work in the first place. One party at some time or another feels that they are carrying the Lion’s share of the work. So with all these possible barriers can two people who are thick as thieves maintain those close bonds and work together as well?
Why Best Friends Can Work the Room
You both have a similar dream, complimentary skill sets, and have a lot of fun. You know your friend and trust they have got your back. Two entrepreneurs for the price of one. You are both the owners and the employees so you might both work for lower pay, getting your business to profit sooner.
Keeping it Real
Honesty is the best policy. When you work with your best friend you may not say what needs to be said because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Make a pact to be honest no matter what. If you feel the vision you have both agreed upon has steered off course, talk about it. Keeping resentment or bottled up emotion won’t help either of you succeed. You both want to reach the finish line of success. When you “keep it real” do so in a positive manner. There is no need to play the blame game or getting a dig at your friend’s weak spot just because you know it. When you share feedback with one another do so constructively. Focus on positive solutions that you are both excited by and be open to feedback yourself.
Ride the Business Rapids with a Map
Any business venture is only worth going into if there is a partnership agreement in place. Outline a legal document that goes through and details the financials, organizational structure, equity division, and most importantly what will happen if the partnership doesn’t work out. How will the business continue if your friendship fails? Some partners will have a “Sudden Draw” clause where if all other avenues fail, one partner can initiate the draw and offers to sell to the other within a certain time frame or they will buy them out. Even friends need job descriptions that explains what each needs to do for the company, a written agreement will ease the frown lines. These types of documents will make you both pros and keep it about the system and structure for the business to be successful and less likely to damage your “besty bond.”
Don’t Forget to Kick Back and Relax
Have balance. When you start a new business it is hard work. Then it is more work, then work, and oh yes more work! One of the reasons you became such good friends in the first place was because you enjoy many of the same hobbies and interests. Don’t put them by the wayside and let the business consume you both. Plan your work and plan you fun too! Also remember to take a break from each other and have some alone time, and don’t neglect your families either. Practice those yoga poses and balance your mind, body and spirit so your business and friendship can thrive!
Yours in Success,
Essentials Spa Consulting LLC
Durocher Enterprises Inc.