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 your strengths and weakenesses
  • 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