Getting into business with a close friend is one of the most exciting decisions an entrepreneur can make. Sharing the workload can make success all the easier to come by so why not take a friend along for the ride?
Although it is an amazing idea, here are the pros and the cons to consider before going on this venture.
You have a friend in the same boat
We try to check out issues from each others’ point of view and learn from each other.
Deborah Ewing-Chow, one half of the duo who founded Crushed Fast Fruit Snacks.
Having someone to go on the same journey with you is definitely a bonus. It allows you to share thoughts and bounce ideas around with someone who knows exactly what you are talking about. Having two minds is always better than one, so any problems will have a better chance at being solved and at a faster pace. Plus there will always be someone there to pick up the slack on those bad days.
We enjoy meeting new people and have learnt so much. Our values, families and friendships all come first.
Your friendship brings a brilliant atmosphere
In any workplace positive energy is everything. You will both be able to share your energy with your employees, which makes for a better work environment. Having tag team interviews will bring a fantastic experience as the candidate will get a dose of how fun and vibrant it is to work in your company.
Both strengths and weaknesses are known
You will know what area you are both strong in. One person may be a financial genius and the other can close a deal in 10minutes. It is a space of complete bliss when you both know how to work around each other. So all those dreaded jobs can be delegated to the person who does it the best.
Complicated when it comes to giving and taking orders
After two months it as clear we could make money. But, he later decided it wasn't worth the hassle and chose to go and get a job.
Ayo Adesina, Computer Programmer for NetNames.
It does get tricky when you have to tell your friend what to do. The atmosphere changes and you both begin to feel unsure. Who is the boss? Aren’t we in this together? These questions will surface and create a negative atmosphere in the workplace, which is never good for your relationship balance.
Not having a contract drawn up
Within every close relationship, there is always a high level of trust. But no one thinks about what goes wrong when the relationship goes sour in business. Not having a contract detailing what happens when you both decide to go your separate ways, explaining who gets what and what happens if you both want to keep the business going but just not together. Things begin to get tricky very quickly
My accounts took a back seat. I had work coming in, but on my own I was not able to get it all finished on time.
You want to avoid each other in the process
Work life will become unbearable if you both dislike working together. These weaknesses will become more and more visible to others. Meetings that will benefit the business may need to be done separately at this point, which may pose questions for the other party. It results in a bad work balance.
So ask yourself some important questions before beginning your friendship venture. Iron out the creases and look at things from a business stand point too. Don’t start a company because you think it may be fun. Start it with the intention to be successful as a team. This requires a serious first foot forward.
Ayo Adesina is a Computer Programmer and can be found via Twitter here