SHOULD I START A BUSINESS WITH MY BEST FRIEND? By Staff Writer We all know the catchphrases, “You should open a restaurant because you can cook… you should open a business because you can do hair… you should open a shop because you know how to work on cars…” However, we rarely ever hear someone say, “You should start a business because you are good with money, or you should start a business because you have good credit.” We usually take our good credit to buy a new car or get a credit card so we can get our hair done or eat at a restaurant. It’s been said that you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure but despite our skewed beliefs and our raging emotions, we do it anyway. Just how the success of a romantic relationship requires more than love, a successful business partnership requires more than friendship. Here are a few things to consider before you take that leap of faith. Financial – Is your friend truly good with money or are they good at making you believe so? Have you ever seen your friend’s credit report or bank account? Are they impulse spenders? People often upstage their skills and do a better job making people believe they are competent than being competent. Every financial habit you have will follow you into the business. Professional – How reliable is your friend? Yes, they make a mean barbeque dinner but can they get it finished on time and every day? Sometimes we let our emotional connection with friends cause us to give them a free pass when they let us down, however customers won’t do the same thing. Perhaps your friend talks too much. If they tell everyone their personal business, chances are they will tell everyone their professional business too. Do they regularly talk bad about their current workplace? Well, be ready, they may talk about you to others once the business is started. Ideological – Do you both have the same societal views? Are you on the same religious page? Do you share the same charitable beliefs? What about pay rate? They may feel employees should be paid less than what you believe. There can be disputes over the type of benefits you offer them too. These beliefs also slip into the treatment of customers. Do you share the belief on how customers should behave in your establishment and other operational procedures? Your friend may feel that their relatives are entitled to a job no matter if they are the best fit for your business or not; something to think about. Emotional – The best business decisions require a lot of rationale. This simply means that these decisions come with discomfort. You won’t always be able to please yourself or partner. What about their patience level? Do you think they will respond to issues with customers favorably? How do they handle their personal relationship problems? Do they display in their behavior when things are bad in their personal life? How do they handle stress and pressure? If they panic easily, you may want to second guess partnering up! Political – It’s interesting how different some of us are from our friends politically. Corporations identify two topics as taboo discussions between co-workers in the workplace: religion and politics. The reason for this is there is no right or wrong in either discussion. They are topics that are not quantifiable or empirical. They are merely based on beliefs. So the discussions can last forever and probably get physical. Extending unemployment benefits may be positive to one person and seen as negative to another. Some see unions as evil and others see them as heaven-sent. Going into business is a life-changing move that comes with risk, however choosing the wrong person to go into business with can increase the risks exponentially. When deciding to go into business, the best choices must be made, not the most comfortable ones. Always seek out the best options and resources, not the ones that are the closest by or familiar. If you make a business decision based on what you have come accustomed to, failure will be the only thing that you will be most familiar with.