Should You Do Business With Friends?
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If you want to do business with friends, I’ve noticed there are many differing opinions. One one hand, there are people who strongly oppose it. They say it will ruin friendships, tear apart life long relationships, and leave both parties stressed and unhappy.
Then, there’s the other side where people say doing business with friends is a great idea because it’s fun to work with people who you enjoy talking to and there’s already a built in trust. Here are some more pros and cons that you might not have considered when it comes to working with friends:
Why You Should do Business With Friends
You already know your friend. That means you don’t have to do the awkward networking thing or sales pitch. You don’t have to call in favors or ask people to introduce you to someone. Your friend is there already and will more likely than not answer your call and give you the time of day. Plus, you know what makes them tick, what makes them upset, and how they operate. Chances are you’ve observed them working, and you like their work ethic or their tendency to create great ideas. Otherwise, you wouldn’t consider doing business with them to begin with. All of these things will enhance a work relationship and make transactions and contracts run a bit smoother.
Also, when there is a problem, it might be easier to confront your friend, although some might argue that it’s harder. Still, you will be in tune with their personality, and thus, you should know the best way to approach them or talk to them if a problem arises.
Why You Shouldn’t do Business With Friends
The cons to working with friends really depends on the friend. We all have those friends who sometimes take advantage or take things just one step too far. Friends might expect special treatment or special pricing, and that can be really hard when you are trying to run a business but keep your reputation pristine at the same time.
Another con is when the line between friends and business gets blurry. For example, your friend might be more comfortable calling you at night to discuss a business transaction instead of waiting to have the conversation during normal work hours. They might also give unsolicited advice, which some people find to be a bit frustrating.
My Take on It
Ultimately, I think working with friends can be a really great, positive experience as long as the lines of communication are open and each party knows and understands their role. For example, John works with his wife every day for their business, and they do a great job together! Other people wouldn’t be able to work with their spouses at all. (Editor’s note – Thanks for the compliment Cat! Having worked with Mrs. Frugal Rules for two years now I can attest to how communication is a huge part of working well together. That, and I’m glad I don’t have to work with myself. 😉 )
What it really comes down to is your own comfort level and how willing you are to stand your ground or negotiate when it comes to dealing with someone who is close to you. Some of the best friendships have gone sour from doing business with one another while other ones have been really strengthened by combining forces and creating amazing ideas.
What’s your take on doing business with friends? Have you ever gone into business with a friend? If so, how did it turn out? Did the business thrive? Did the friendship fall apart?