A few years ago, I went into business with a good friend. Our advisors and other friends warned us about the risks to our friendship. We listened, but went ahead anyway with a real estate partnership which would own the building where our offices for our primary business would reside. Three years later, we are still in business, and still friends.
I thought about why we have been successful as I read this article about going into business with a friend ,by Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller. The authors outlined several key elements of a successful relationships:
Understand you are in a relationship
Take time outside the office
To their list I would add the following which have helped Eric and I the last few years:
- Clearly define roles – I pay bills and work with service pr0viders, the city, etc and he ( or his team) mow the lawn, and manage the physical building
- Have a third party referee ( advisor or friend) who you both trust, to give you some perspective from time to time.
Go into business with a friend? Maybe if it is the right friend. Plan up front – Absolutely