Starting a business with your friend can be beneficial in many ways. While you can generate massive profits, you also get to spend time with someone you like, respect, and admire. This, in a way, makes work less stressful. Also, you and your friend can brainstorm innovative solutions that will address your target market’s needs. There’s a practical way to start a business with your friend. You’ve got to understand that when your friend becomes your business partner, you must relate to them professionally, especially at work.
Make sure to put your emotions in check as you relate with your friend. Sometimes, you may have differences on certain issues, but make sure not to allow them to affect your business. Fortunately, several strategies can help you and your friend make a confident and informed decision to ensure the success of your business. Here are a few worth considering to get the desired outcome.
1. Get everything in writing
You may have to pen down every little piece of information that is shared before you even set up your business. This is because the ideas are not coming from one person, and due to circumstances beyond your control, you may be stressed, leading to forgetfulness. It would help to write everything down so you can quickly refer to it. Moreover, you can easily sort out differences and avoid conflicts when there’s a written document to refer to, so keep this in mind. Put down every piece of information so that when it’s time for you to amend a particular policy, product, or service. You may do so accurately by reflecting on your goals and achievements.
2. Define your principles and roles
A business can never succeed if it does not have rules and regulations. And as a friend, you need to know these laws and operate within your capacities. There is discipline when there are rules and regulations, and you and your friend will learn to cope with them to prevent challenges. Many misunderstandings between business partners result from miscommunication and refusal to lay down principles that guide the work.
If you draft a law to govern your operation, you will prevent conflict, and everyone will work as they should rather than expecting the other party to work on their behalf. Put down rules that include the role you and your partner are supposed to play separately. Before you do this, analyze your strengths and weaknesses individually, then draft them. You must sit your partner down and discuss these roles so everyone will be in the know of their respective jobs.
3. Set your expectations and Goals
In every business, the overall goal is to satisfy customers and make more money. However, you and your friend must have some daily, weekly, or monthly expectations to achieve your main goal. Setting your expectations and goals helps you to be on the same page. It shouldn’t be that your partner is thinking of implementing X, and you are also thinking of something outside that expectation. Even if that is the case, share your expectations so that you can work on achieving them together. This also helps to create trust among yourself and build your professional relations. It also gives you an idea about each other’s strengths and weaknesses and works towards covering each other’s flaws. It also allows you to learn from each other since you will be sharing ideas. While setting these expectations and goals, make sure they are SMART. This means ensuring they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. This way, you’ll rest assured that you are on the right path.
4. Don’t make assumptions about each other
Assuming certain things about each other without asking can destroy your relationship and kill your business. Instead of assuming and sulking, approach your friend about anything bothering you. The best thing to happen in business conflicts is to resolve your issues and move on. Remember, the business’s growth and success depend on both of you. Sulking and murmuring will lead to unproductive work. It is advisable to speak to a mutual friend about issues you are not comfortable with so that they can help both of you solve them to achieve the best results.
5. Establish and honor boundaries
Boundaries define how far you can go in a relationship with someone. Establishing and honoring boundaries, first of all, helps you and your friend to clarify what’s acceptable and what’s not. It also helps to create standards in your business. Standards will keep you in check and insist that the right thing is done. With strong business boundaries in place, no one takes decisions based on how they feel but according to the standards being set by you both. Setting boundaries creates a pleasant experience at work since emotions are not attached to the standards being set. It further makes work very efficient, so feel free to consider this.
6. Make sure you both invest
Since you are into this together, investing in the business is best. Investing could come in so many ways; it’s not only limited to money. You can invest in speaking to people in your cycle about your business. You can also invest by creating opportunities for growth for yourselves. Signing up your partner for workshops and seminars will help improve their skills while you manage the business in a short time. You can also decide to increase your salaries from time to time to encourage each other by investing more in cash. You can also choose to invest a particular amount of money to support the business course or invest your landed property, so keep this in mind. While at it, ensure that you have a legal document detailing how the profits will be shared to prevent misunderstandings.
7. Include everyone in decision making
Considering that you’re a business partner, it’s prudent that you involve each other in every decision made. This helps to bring about transparency in your business. Also, it can help you appreciate every success you achieve in your journey, so feel free to consider this. This also helps both of you to put in more effort when things do not go the way both of you expected. Involving your business partner in decision-making also creates a sense of teamwork among you and helps your partner realize that their views are valued. This can also improve your relationship as friends and business partners. Your friend’s ability to see an issue with a decision they are involved in is normally higher than taking a sole decision in a business partnership. While engaged in business decisions, your partner can also help you deal with concerns earlier and will increase your chances of success in decisions. While at it, you don’t want to disregard your friend’s opinions even if you don’t agree with them. Instead, talk it out until you reach a compromise.
8. Separate work from play
It is worth noting that friendship will bring both of you together, but it’s also important to avoid playing while working. Learn to approach your business with a high level of seriousness and maturity. With this in place, your business is set to grow successfully, and your clients will view you and the business from different limelight. Remember that your clients always observe you and how you approach your business. This informs them about your level of seriousness and sometimes compels them to recommend what you do to others. This journey may be a tad daunting, especially when you share mutual friends and always have something to talk about. But then it will be worth it if you stay focused. Discussing all your chit-chats during lunch break or perhaps after working hours is advisable.
9. Communicate Often
As friends, you may know that open communication is vital to strengthen your bond. Therefore to strengthen the core of your business, you need to communicate often and let all issues out. Address issues as they come and work on them to achieve a successful goal at the end of the day. Because you are in business with your friend, you may take some work principles or ethics for granted. You must endeavor to open up and communicate any negative attitude you see with eachother. You do not want to do anything that will cause damage beyond repair, so you must be committed to the work and make sure you communicate clearly about everything.
It’s important to note that you are in business to make a profit and maximize your career outcomes. Therefore, strive to set things straight. As you keep evolving in your business, you will start having other employees. Hopefully, these tips will help you establish a successful business while maintaining a great friendship. Do well to implement these tips with them as well. You should be open-minded and ready to learn more as you gain experience. You can also visit The Elite Post for success stories to inspire you on this journey, so feel free to consider this. All the best!