Working with friends can be incredibly rewarding but can also pose a unique set of challenges. Mixing business with friendship can work out great, as long as you approach the situation with care. Here are a few tips to ensure you and your pals have the best time while building something great.
1) Set clear expectations and roles ahead of time.
List out the strengths your friend can contribute to this specific business venture, and think about how you can best use both of your unique skill sets to divide and conquer. Doing so helps determine clear roles and responsibilities before diving into the actual work. Taking the extra time to define who has ownership over what ahead of time, manages expectations and saves you both aggravation in the future.
2) Maintain open communication.
A major benefit of working with a friend is that rapport has already been established. This means you should easily be able to communicate openly with each other. Remember that your professional relationship should be kept separate from your personal one, so check your emotions at the door! Work disagreements happen, but they foster development and growth and should be viewed as a positive, not a negative.
3) Nurture your relationship outside of work.
Personal and professional lines easily blur, so make sure you are maintaining a relationship with your friend outside the professional setting. Something like a monthly happy hour date or a monthly life check-in via phone should be a priority. Set a reoccurring event up on your calendar (you can cancel if necessary, but this will help keep it a priority).
Working with friends can make your losses easier and your wins sweeter. It’s a risky undertaking, but if approached with thought and care, your friendly collaborations are bound to prove successful.
If you loved this piece check out this piece from our contributor Darrah Brustein who interviewed 9 entrepreneurs who have made their businesses work by partnering with their friends.