The appeal of going into business with a friend is very common. A lot of people find the familiarity comforting. This is why many people choose to go into business with a close friend. Ambition usually looks for like minds and so it is only natural that people would look to like-minded people around them to push their vision. The business world can be a tough one and this is not news to anybody, just to ease the stress, friends enter into dealings without giving it a lot of thought.
There can be a lot of upside to going into business with a friend, the advantages are not lost on anybody, but you must have done the proper groundwork to be successful at it. Some problems could arise when this is not done. Individual roles might not be clearly defined, the allocation of shares and a reduced desire to work could also become issues.
There some vital questions that need to be answered if you want to go into business with a friend the right way.
The question of commitment
Commitment is a very important issue when going into a venture. You have to find out how committed your friend is to start this new business. At the beginning of a business venture, it is very likely to confuse your enthusiasm for shared enthusiasm because you both discuss it a lot. A good friend will show interest in whatever you are excited about but you need to be sure that your friend feels as strongly about the business idea as you do. When you go into these types of conversations, it is common to want to do a lot of talking, but for clarity, it is important to ask a lot of questions and listen.
The question of skill
Before you start making plans, you should examine the business roles and what kind of skills would be needed to run the business smoothly. When a business is just starting, there is a lot of multitasking, the need to wear different hats is sure to arise. This is why you need to make sure your friend’s skill is suited to what you believe the business needs. You have to be certain especially in the beginning so you don’t divide company shares with someone who will not take on much responsibility. A major thing to consider is that your skills have to compliment each other so you can each pick where the other person falls short.
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The question of emotional intelligence
If your intended business partner does not handle his/her emotions well, you need to ask yourself if they can handle a business venture. Do they struggle with depression, motivation or other issues? In a situation where your experiences with your friend lead you to believe that when he/she has an episode, they can get out of it by taking a day off or going out, you might be able to handle it. if however, you do not feel equipped to help them through whatever they are feeling, it would be ill-advised to go into business with them.
The question of trust
If there is no trust between business partners, it can have adverse effects of the company. You must be able to trust your friend and intended partner on more or less anything if you are going to trust them in business. When financial issues and issues of accountability arise, your trust will be tested. Take some time to reflect on your relationship to be certain you can trust your intended partner in any situation.
Starting a business is never easy and having a friend for a partner could seem like the right way to go but you must have answered these questions to your satisfaction before you move forward. There are a few things you will also need to attend to before moving forward. First, you need to have a legal framework so each person knows what they are entitled to. You also need to clearly state what duties belong to whom. This way someone can be held responsible if something isn’t done. Having a friend by your side can be very exciting. So you should be sure to lay very good groundwork before the business starts. Your friendship may not survive if your business relationship is broken off.