Going into Business with Friends and Family

Every single time something goes wrong as part of a business venture involving partners who are related or who are friends, the old adage comes to the fore, that being that you should never go into business with friends and family in the first place. Often this is referenced out of context as well, like if a group of friends and family members were lured into some or other phony investment opportunity which didn’t go on to work out as promised. The Establishment perpetuates this notion as well, but the fact that it has every reason to champion this belief should have us all starting to question the reasons why it is believed that you shouldn’t go into business with friends and family.

Why you SHOULD go into business with friends and family

I’m going to go against the grain here and say that you should go into business with friends and family and that in fact if you’re going to be getting into business at all, it should be with friends and family. The major reason why you should pursue business ventures with friends and family is because if the people involved are genuine, each of you only has the others’ best interests at heart, so you’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you collectively succeed. There will be nobody seeking to use the business’s expense account to buy something mindless like a Gucci bag for a specious girlfriend, for instance.

The best kinds of businesses to get into with friends and family

Often the notion of it being a bad idea to get into business with friends and family stems from the types of businesses friends and family tend to venture into together. Instead of luring each other into what inevitably turn out to be dodgy investment schemes, rather focus on established business models, such as a franchise of a well-known, profitable chain business of some sort.

Separating the personal from the professional

It’s extremely important to separate the representations of the relationships which exist in your personal life from what will be the professional world of doing business together. So while you might come from a traditional family structure where the man is the head of the house, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case in the business environment. In fact, it shouldn’t be. The roles which play out in the business environment should be established based on credentials, skills and value brought to the venture.

External quality-control stakeholders

External quality-control stakeholders should be brought in or consulted with in order to maintain objectivity since the very fine lines between the personal and professional lives of friends and family going into business together are very easy to cross. Consult law experts such as Speaks Family Law, to map out and help maintain explicitly defined legal parameters and the consequences of crossing those boundaries. This way nobody can take anything personally and there will be a professionally compiled operational framework which is legally sound to go back to in order to keep things in check.