Thinking of Going Into Business with a Friend? Read This First…

Going into business with a friend

As you know, last year I started a new creative venture with my dear friend Monica Welburn. We launched the Let’s Discuss podcast in March 2017, and since then I’m constantly asked what it’s like to work with a friend. The short answer is, “It’s awesome”. And, if you’re thinking about launching a business with a BFF I definitely encourage it!

However, there a few practicalities you need to consider first (ugh, practicalities! How we hate to have you rain on our parade). And I’ve delved into all of the need-to-know starting points below…

DON’T RUSH INTO A BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP

Launching a business with a friend is a lot of fun. But it won’t be the right move for every friendship. Before Monica and I teamed up to produce the Let’s Discuss podcast we worked together on a few one-off projects, which were all on a much smaller scale. These put our working dynamic to the test and showed that we made a great team.

So, before you embark on a business partnership with a friend, try working together on a few small-scale projects first. Perhaps you could club together to plan a networking event, or collaborate on an e-book. Just do something to test your working dynamic. Because, although you’re great friends, your compatibility may not extend to a business partnership.

Tips for Working With a Friend

GET COMFORTABLE DISCUSSING FINANCES

No one really likes discussing money. And it can be a particularly difficult topic to broach with friends. However, if you’re thinking about embarking on a joint business venture, you’re going to have to take a deep breath and lean into that discomfort.

Sit down with your friend and have an honest discussion about how much you’re both willing to invest in the initial start-up costs. It will prevent conflict further down the line when one of you wants to splurge on an expensive website and the other desires a more frugal approach.

It might also be wise to draw up a budget together. That way you’ll know exactly what you have to spend in each area, and you’re less likely to stumble into disagreements. (If you do this I’d advice also putting some money aside for miscellaneous, surprise costs that might pop-up along the way).

DEFINE YOUR ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

It can take a while to find your groove when you first start working with a friend. And, to make the process easier, I highly recommend taking the time to clearly define each of your roles and responsibilities. In certain areas you might split your workload 50/50 (and I assume you’ll want to make all creative decisions together). But if you can take your individual skills into consideration, and carve out areas of the business that are your “domain”, you’re sure to achieve so much more as a duo!

When it comes to producing the Let’s Discuss podcast, I do all of the episode editing whilst Monica looks after the backend of production – getting the episodes onto iTunes each week, writing the show notes and updating the website.

Going Into Business With a Friend Tips

MAKE TIME FOR YOUR FRIENDSHIP

And, finally, if you’re going into business with a friend make sure you carve out plenty of time to focus specifically on your friendship. Because work-chat can easily seep into every conversation otherwise! Schedule it as “friendship time” on both of your calendars if you need to – just make sure you’re getting some quality BFF bonding in every month…

Have you ever thought about starting a business venture with a friend? Or perhaps you already work with one of your besties – if so I’d love to hear your tips for making the partnership work. Leave a comment below to share your thoughts…

Photos by Marlene Lee

P.S. How to maintain a long-distance friendship