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Beginning a enterprise with a good friend: four issues to think about

The ultimate question: could you and your boyfriend make the perfect business duo? The answer can be more complicated than you think. You love spending time with your boyfriend and becoming an entrepreneur together. Why don't you make your dreams come true together? Companies like Airbnb and Ben & Jerry & # 39; s have had success in this space – all based on friendship.

But it's much more than opening a business with a friend. They can be great business partners or wish that you took over your company on your own. Before making any financial decisions, analyze the pros and cons and ask tough questions. For example, will you be investing equally? Who takes on which tasks and responsibilities? Browse the easy and tough questions to find out where your business friendship lies.

To help you and your friend make a safe, informed decision, jump to our flowchart or read on.

Questions to Ask Before Doing Business with a Friend

Before you jump into your business plan, ask the tough questions. These can be hard to ask and answer, but they could save your friendship from a sour business relationship.

Question 1: Do you share the same values?

Depending on your stage of life and your goals, your values ​​can differ greatly from those of your potential business partner. You may appreciate living a relaxed lifestyle that gives you the financial freedom to do what you love while others appreciate a fast-paced lifestyle full of activities and long days at work. Differences in value can lead to tension in your business relationship.

Ask yourself: Do you and your potential business friend have the same values? If so, great! If not, write down your differences and whether they are worth working through.

Question 2: Do you share the same business goal?

Schedule a brainstorming session with your friend to make sure you are on the same page. Plan your one-month, six-month, one-year, and five-year goals for your startup. Is your goal to get a certain turnover? Hire a certain number of full-time employees? Or to shape your business idea globally?

If you have the same intentions, move on to question three. If any of your goals are in conflict, there may be problems in paradise. See if you can overcome your differences before investing the time and money.

Question 3: Do your skills complement each other?

You and your friend each have their own strengths. For example, you can be good at time management while your friend is better at sales. If you lack skills, think about how to fill in the gaps. If you and your friend's startup plan have a budget for hiring freelancers, or one of you is committed to learning something new, this may not be a problem. Regardless of what happens, especially when you're booting your business idea, it's important to talk about it.

If you don't complement each other's skills, who will improve them?

Question 4: Do your career and lifestyle habits match?

Depending on your business goals, this can be a professional partnership question. For example, one friend can be a morning person while the other is a night owl. One can handle morning meetings and emails while the other is responsible for evening website development and customer service.

If one friend's lifestyle doesn't match those of the other, it may be best to look to other business opportunities. While starting a business can adjust your habits, it is easy to fall back on old ones from time to time.

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The pros and cons of doing business with friends

It's comforting to weigh the pros and cons before entering into a business deal. Could your new business idea benefit or hinder your future relationship and career?

Pros: You have a friend through the ups and downs

Starting a business with a friend is much like getting married – you are there for one another through good and bad. When you run into problems, you know who to turn to for help. And you can do most of the work together. For example, reaching out to investors as a team or going alone can calm your nerves.

Cons: You know the same people

Instead of having your weekly get-togethers, you could spend the whole day together! This can be exciting, but it can also be difficult to leave work at work. When the two of you are with the same people, there may be little room to separate from each other and your company.

Pros: You understand each other's strengths and weaknesses

You probably already know how each other works and what your strengths and weaknesses are. Instead of learning how a new business partner works, you already have the upper hand. On the first day, you and your partner were able to delegate tasks that best correspond to everyone's strengths.

Cons: Your friendship could become a tough business

Your current friendship can be difficult to separate from your new work partnership. Taking your job too seriously can stiffen your current relationship. Even after your job is done, the time for "friends" can slow down. To get the best of both worlds, you should over-communicate during your corporate adventures.

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Advantages: You feel comfortable in communication

They may have been friends for months, years, or even decades. A strong foundation of friendship strengthens your communication in the workplace. Also, you most likely know how your friend can react to a wrong situation. Be aware of your friends' communication habits and encourage them throughout your business relationship.

Cons: It's easy to let emotions get the most out of you

Be careful that your emotions do not guide your business decisions. A situation can arise in your group of friends that finds its way into the office. To avoid personal matters in the workplace, you should come to an agreement – not drama. When situations arise, take some time to clear your mind, rest, and return more motivated and inspired.

Pros: You can spend more time together

They can spend countless hours talking to each other and doing business. You could spend all day doing business chores and ending the work day chatting about your life. It's a great way to spend more time with your friend without other chores slipping through the cracks.

Cons: Failure of a friendship can lead to financial and business failure

If tension builds up in the workplace, it can affect your business results. If you don't want to attend a meeting with your partner, it can affect business productivity or, worse, stop it. To avoid losing profits on your friendship and investments, the two of you should create an exit plan in case something goes wrong.

Tips for starting a business with your friend

Before toasting your other half and investing in your passions, prepare yourself properly. Show yourself to your new business like a new job. Have your plan documented before building your business empire.

Choose your business plan

Small problems can appear months or years after starting your business. To avoid future problems, talk to your partner about small and large inconsistencies. Different living habits may not be a problem at the moment, but can be difficult after a year of working together.

Communicate often

About a third of the projects are not adequately communicated. Avoid project or business mistakes by finding a communication method that works for you and your partner. Daily meetings or weekly email updates are just a few examples. Make yourself comfortable by sipping your favorite coffee or eating your lunch while you catch up.

Set and honor boundaries

Eliminate tension in the workplace by setting a heading for working hours. Avoid talking about personal matters until you step away from your work duties. If you and your partner need to set additional boundaries, clearly outline them as you emerge.

Make it official with contracts

When you've worked through all of the complications, write everything down in writing. If something should go wrong, documents and written statements can be referenced in court. To do this, contact an attorney and draw up a business plan. All business promises you make should be in writing to avoid any misunderstanding. Pay rates, profit sharing, investment contributions, and business accounts are a few things that should be listed in this document.

Before investing your time, energy, or money in your startup dreams, make sure you are fully prepared. Could you and your friend make great business partners? Take our quiz to find out. Don't forget to keep an eye on your budget and investments throughout the startup process.

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