Estimated reading time: 4 mins
It can be a great idea to go into business with a close friend. After all, who better to trust with your business venture than someone you know and trust? But before you take the plunge, it’s important to assess the risks and rewards of such an arrangement – because while it may be wise in some circumstances, in others it could spell disaster for both you and your friendship.
To explore this further, let’s look at some reasons why going into business with a close friend can work well – as well as when it might not be such a good idea.
The Pros: When It Might Be Wise To Go Into Business With A Close Friend
Let’s start by looking at the positive side of things. In many cases, going into business with someone you know and trust can be very beneficial. Here are just a few reasons why:
- You already have an established relationship: The most obvious benefit is that you already have an existing relationship in place between yourself and your business partner – which means there should be less time needed to build trust between the two of you. This makes communication smoother and allows projects to progress more quickly since everyone has faith in one another’s abilities.
- You can leverage each other’s strengths: Another huge advantage is that if your skillsets complement each other (for instance if one of you is great at marketing while the other is better at finance) then this will allow for greater success overall within the partnership. Working together will also ensure that tasks are spread out more evenly between both partners rather than having all the work fall onto just one person’s shoulders!
- Shared goals create passion: Finally, if both parties share similar goals and values then this will help add fuel to their fire when it comes to achieving success within their joint venture. Knowing that there is someone else who shares their vision can give them extra motivation on days where they feel like giving up – which could prove invaluable over time!
The Cons: When It Might Not Be Wise To Go Into Business With A Close Friend
Of course, although there are plenty of positives associated with going into business with a close friend. There are also some potential pitfalls too that need considering before taking the plunge right? Let’s take a look at these now:
- Conflict resolution may become tricky: One potential issue is that disagreements or conflicts may arise between partners during their working relationship – which could prove particularly tricky if they’re also friends outside of work as well! If either party feels wronged or taken advantage of then this could put strain on both their personal and professional lives – so careful consideration needs to be given beforehand about how conflict resolution would work in such scenarios (e.g through mediation).
- Losing sight of professional boundaries: Another issue could come from losing sight of professional boundaries due to being so familiar with one another outside of work – i.e feeling comfortable enough around each other to gossip or otherwise indulge in unprofessional behaviour during office hours! This could lead to distractions from tasks or even damage morale amongst staff members if they feel their colleagues are getting away with things they wouldn’t normally get away with elsewhere. So again it’s important to set clear rules early on regarding what kind behaviours are acceptable in order keep everyone focused on meeting targets!
Final thoughts on whether it’s wise to go into business with a close friend…
Ultimately, whether or not it’s wise for two people (especially friends) to go into business together really depends on several factors. Such as how compatible their skillsets are; how well-equipped they both are for handling any potential conflicts; and how much discipline/professionalism they’re able bring towards maintaining healthy working relationships. If two people feel confident enough after carefully weighing up all these points then yes – going into business together might just turn out ok after all.
However, I have been in business with a close friend twice. And I would never do it again. On both occasions, my point about conflict resolution became a big sticking point, as well as losing sight of professional boundaries. Conversations that would normally happen in a purely business relationship are much more difficult and awkward between close friends, and run the risk of destroying whole friendship groups, which in both cases, it did. Both experiences were stressful and bad for my mental wellbeing. With experience comes wisdom, and the wisdom in me says go into business with a close friend with extreme caution.