Last Updated on November 20, 2010 by New-Startups Team
Working with friends can be the best decision anyone can make or it could be the start of a rift between people. Businesses often start out with friends coming together with an idea and a hope that because of their bond they can succeed together. However, sometimes as a business grows, a friendship can become strained, and more importantly because of friendship decisions could be clouded. So what do you do if your partnership is no longer working?
There’s no reason why a friendship should come to an end because of businesses developments, but the way it is handled is ultimately the deciding factor. Usually, when a partnership between friends fails its because either one believes the other isn’t pulling weight, or the economic times for the business itself causes tensions that result in relationships heading toward a downward spiral.
As long as theirs open communications and an understanding in what each party wants out of the business then the proper compromises can come about – may it be buying one out a business or dissolving the business altogether so that everyone can follow what they think is best. But the tensions and conflict of running a business together are bound to happen; it’s how we handle them that result in friends staying friends.
There is nothing wrong with doing business with friends – I would actually encourage it. It’s important to create open dialogue and an atmosphere that your camaraderie can continue to bring success in business and in friendship. You start a business to get away from the politics of working for the “man” and to have fun, and it can be that with your friends.
In order to make sure a friendship isn’t hurt by business situations it’s imperative to act quickly when problems arise. When problems are allowed to fester and remain unresolved they will surface eventually and be a big part in the fall of your business and friendship.
It’s important to be upfront with partners, friends or not. Being honest gains their trust, and gives everyone a forum on how to deal with shortcomings for the betterment of everyone. But if the tensions have gotten to the point where the only solution is dissolving the partnership, it would be best to do what you can for all parties. Possibly buying the other out and finding an amicable settlement, because by creating a more erroneous legal issue it will no only affect friendship but the employees you have, whom also deal with the partnership daily.
Friends and business can mix and can be an incredibly fun experience. But if things ever do go south, being contrite and amicable to all sides is what will help keep a friendship in the long run.