If Ben & Jerry could do it, you can too. No, we’re not talking about making premium ice cream, we’re talking about starting a business with a friend. If you and a friend have always dreamed of owning a small business together, check out these four tips to get started.
1. Pick apart your business plan.
Once you have put together a business plan, it’s time to pick it apart. Work through the flaws and come up with solutions together. Project what could go wrong and think about how to proactively prepare for or avoid them. This will help start your business off on the right foot and prepare your friendship for what it is like to work through problems as a team. Establishing a successful system of problem-solving now will save you from tension later.
2. Sync your communication.
When partners don’t communicate, it can result in tension, stress, and even business failure. Make sure to communicate often and make it a routine. Whether it’s daily or weekly, make sure you are scheduling in time for a check in. These can help keep you both on the same page in terms of business and can also go a long way toward preserving your friendship.
3. Set boundaries and follow them.
As friends, your personal and professional lives can easily get blurred. Set boundaries to keep talk about personal matters to before and after working hours. This way you can both concentrate on your business when you’re clocked in and your friendship when you’re clocked out.
4. Put it in writing with a contract.
In addition to your friendship, the foundation of a healthy business partnership is a contract. Draw up an official business partner agreement to protect yourselves if things should go wrong. Outline business promises and roles, compensation rates, profit shares, and investments in your contract to avoid misunderstandings later.
Deciding to go into business with a friend can put your friendship and your resources at risk if you don’t consider it carefully. Scroll to the infographic from Mint below and use the flowchart to help you decide whether you and your best friend will also be best in the business.