Interested in starting a business with your bestie? Sounds fun (and potentially very lucrative). Before you embark on this adventure, we thought we’d share some tips for you. After all, businesses can be stressful and a dear friendships should never be destroyed for money. To save you from a failed startup and a broken friendship, some tips below.
Know each others’ strengths and weaknesses
The honest truth is that we only see what people allow us to see. What makes a great friend doesn’t always make a great business partner. This is why that taking an assessment test could be a great activity before you kick off your business. After all, you’re both experts at taking Buzzfeed quizzes, right?
Find out your Meyers-Briggs type or use a system like Matrix Insights to find out what you’re strongest at on a team and what you could use some work on. The more you know about yourself and your bestie-turned-business partner, the fewer problems you’re likely to run into down the road.
Define the roles you’ll have
For example, Alexis Maybank of Gilt Groupe was founding CEO but also in charge of customer support. Her bestie and business partner, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, was head of merchandising but also responsible for picking up the phone. No matter how many hats you find yourself wearing, don’t wait until the phone rings to decide who’s supposed to pick it up.
Talk values and vision, often and early
Sometimes we assume we already know the values of our best friend. I mean, they’re our best friends, right? Of course they have a shared value system. But we suggest having conversations about value and company vision right from the start. Ideally, you should spend time talking about what’s important to you in the day-to-day, but also in the long term should your company really take off. We suggest you both the time to fill out these Vision, Mission, and Values worksheet. Trust us.
Talk about exit strategies
It’s an icky subject, but if you’ve seen The Social Network you know that getting into business with your friends doesn’t always have a happy ending. Knowing who’s entitled to what if the business is successful and someone wants out later on will avoid a lot of crossed swords.
If you do these these things and feel alignment, you’re good to go. Good luck raising your first round!