It’s commonly said that you should never do business with your friends. Mixing your personal relationships with your business relationships can quickly turn into a recipe for disaster. But before you confine this idea into nothingness, stop for a moment and consider some of the benefits of making this work. With 5.73 million employer-based businesses in the US, a considerable portion incorporates friends into the relationship.
You’ve likely watched how Mark Zuckerberg pushed out his other co-founder to become the dominant force in Facebook, but it doesn’t always have to end this way. This article is going to show you why you should absolutely consider doing business with your friends.
Why Friends Can Be Good for Business
Whenever you work with someone, it takes some time to understand what their capabilities and limitations are. With a friend, you already know what they can do. You are well aware of what they are good at and what they aren’t good at. You already have that strong relationship ready to go.
You don’t need the distraction of a toxic relationship when trying to run a business. Presumably, you will have fewer problems when working with a friend.
So with this in mind, how can you wield the power of having a friend working for you within your company?
Look for the Win-Win
You may want your friend within your business because they have experience in that field. On the other hand, you have to stop for one moment to consider how this business relationship is going to help them. It has to be a good thing for both parties or you are not going to get the commitment of everyone involved.
It doesn’t have to be anything special at the first stage. Simply give them the opportunity to make business connections or to earn some extra money. If it works, you can continue to raise the stakes and to integrate them into your business venture.
Give Before You Receive
Make sure you have friends at work because you are helping them as much as they are helping you. This isn’t an opportunity to drain someone of everything they have. You want this to be a two-way relationship where everyone can be happy with the arrangements.
Begin the relationship not with what you need but what you can do for them. You may decide to offer assistance or some connections. This is relatively easy to initiate because all you have to do is ask a simple question like, “How’s business going?” and work from there.
Be Tactful Without Being Fearful
When you spot a friend who could potentially do a lot for your business, don’t shrink away or try to dance around the issue. This is why so many entrepreneurs fail to get the people they need to make their business dreams a reality. It’s okay to ask because the worst thing they can say is no.
Relationships are based on trust and even asking someone if they would like to join in with your business is an incredible compliment. You are already entrusting them with something and its likely something that they are going to treat with the seriousness it deserves.
At the same time, make sure that you are opening up a stream of communication that isn’t pushy. If they say no, you should accept it as an answer. Tell them the position is always open, if they decide they want to join later on.
Choose the Right Moment
When you ask someone to get involved in your business can have a big influence on whether they actually decide to take up the offer. Choose the right moment to ask the question in the form of a private meeting. Try not to get too serious at a dinner party or a sports event. You can use them to organize the real meeting, but it’s usually too much of a casual atmosphere to pop the question here.
Last Word – Choosing the Right Person
You also have to go out of your way to choose the right person to begin with. Don’t pick your best friend just because you like them and you think they could make a good friend at work. This is a situation where you have to turn off your feelings towards that person and think about them from a business point of view.
Do they look like the type of person who could turn your business around for the better?
Answer it honestly and take some time to think about this.