Starting a new business venture is exciting enough, but when you get to do it with a good friend, it’s even better. You trust each other, share the same vision, you always help to put each other at ease, and can solve problems together. Yes, the idea of running a business with one of your closest friends is a lovely one, but the truth is it isn’t always as fun and friendly as you might think. Running a business is hard, with plenty of challenges to overcome that can cause a lot of stress. Even if you’re working with someone you trust, sometimes the lines can become blurred, and sadly, in some cases, friendships don’t survive this test. If you have been planning to start a new business with one of your friends, here are some tips to make sure you can get through it with your friendship still intact.
Make Roles Clear
So, you’ve come up with this fantastic idea – but who’s idea was it? Equal parts? Or is one of you the driving force and convinced the other it was worth investing in? Who is going to take charge of marketing? Human resources? There are a lot of areas that will need to be covered when you’re running a business, and to make sure everything is done properly; you must define your roles clearly. This will also help reduce the chance of you stepping on each other’s toes and starting to micromanage each other. If this takes place, it will only lead to resentment, so make sure you both know who’s in charge of what and respect their authority.
Once you have determined your roles within the company, the next step is getting it all down in writing. You might trust each other whole-heartedly, but it’s always smart to get everything worked out in an official contract to reduce the chance of disputes later on. Having a legal document binding you to your agreement will give you both peace of mind and a sense of protection. Knowing your rights and obligations is important in any job, and running a business is no different.
Find a Good Workspace
You could work at one of your homes, but to make things easier and fairer, consider looking for a workspace that is in-between both of you. For example, find a serviced office in your town or city centre like the ones provided by Clockwise. They have flexible contracts, shared workspace options, and meeting rooms as well as other amenities, making them an ideal working environment. This is better than working from someone’s house, as it puts you both in a more neutral environment to work. Plus, if you’re to meet with clients, it looks a lot more professional.
Finally, although it might be hard to voice your opinions or concerns, sometimes, you must have honest and open communication with each other. Don’t let things fester and turn into resentment, respect each other enough to listen and discuss things properly so you can resolve any issues quickly. If you fail to do this, you’ll end up in a place that isn’t good for your business or your friendship.
Working with your friend is supposed to be fun, but don’t think that the pressure of starting and running a business won’t test you. Use these tips to help keep you both equal and happy in your venture together.