It is believed that starting a business with a friend is a bad idea. For a year, in a common vessel, my partner and I pretty much messed up at work and had enough reasons to slap breamies to each other, but we did not do that. I tell you how not to stay without a friend, and without a business.
# 1 Create a general idea
Partnership with friends is beneficial because the general idea is a more effective motivator than money. A business that grows on the foundation of personal relationships is stronger than a business, based on only the interests of partners individually - fewer undercurrents.
Doing business with a friend is good at the initial stage, when there is no profit, employees and you can share responsibilities with the person who is ready to work for the idea. And even better in a developed business: there is someone to rely on, less emotional burnout.
Yes, you can build an effective business model yourself, but it still depends on the money that employees receive.
In business with friends, the feeling of a general idea is very important, so that everyone perceives the business as a single organism, and himself as an organ, without which it will not function normally. We started in the beginning, and for some this understanding has not been formed. And here it is: if a friend goes out of business, he goes out of your life too.
Some initially did not understand the seriousness of the work. They were referring to her in the spirit of “Cool, they started to stir up their business together,” as if it were a trip to barbecues. I had to talk, explain - it got through with time.
Ilya Petrushkin, co-founder network of auto parts stores AWC, 10 years doing business with friends
# 2 Select the main
In business, someone should be in charge - I found this thesis in the book Business as a Game. Russian Business Rakes and Unexpected Solutions from the creators of the Mosigr network Dmitry Kibkalo, Dmitry Borisov and Sergey Abdulmanov. And the main thing you need to determine more on the beach, because not just obey the dude with whom you sat in the next pots in kindergarten. As well as command them. Discomfort must be overcome immediately, or you should not start at all.
When discussing strategic issues, the vision of the situation may not coincide. Someone one must make a final decision, and the second - to agree with him, otherwise the work will turn into an endless stream of disputes.
Discussion of the strategy is a normal situation, but if the points of view on key issues are opposite, it is best to divide the business.
We did not have a leader from the very beginning, but in the process he appeared. There was no choice or something in this spirit, just in the process everyone showed character. Someone more leadership qualities.
At the same time, we try to solve key issues together. In general, I think a lot depends on people: we have five founders, but usually we look in one direction. It was not such that someone rested and the decision had to be forced through.
# 3 Checkout LLC
It is expensive to open an LLC, and accounting is difficult, but the IP form does not allow for the distribution of shares. In fact, one will be an entrepreneur, and the second - an employee or in general will be a member of the enterprise only in words. Even if there is no reason, the situation is annoying. It is better to protect yourself from unnecessary thoughts.
But we did not specify in detail the responsibility for each other in the documents. Probably, this is one of the peculiarities of national business: a lot is being done on trust. Papers, on the contrary, break it.
However, trust is one thing, and the law is another, so in the future we will be concerned with this issue.
We have been working for ten years, but we have no hard division of shares in our business. In general, I think that if you start a business with thoughts, how then to diverge and share, then it is better not to start at all. So you initially do not trust the person, and it is unlikely that something will come of it.
# 4 Divide Responsibilities
When you have a small business, you have to do everything at once. The best option is if the co-founders have useful skills in the starting baggage. And even better if they have a different plan. I had competence in marketing and advertising, my partner had experience in leading and setting up business processes. In accordance with them, we have distributed responsibilities and areas of responsibility.
Garbage happens when one climbs into the area of responsibility of the second. If someone calls you on an urgent matter, and you cannot answer right now, the worst possible solution is “Max, are you in the office? Listen, they will come up there now, I have acts in my laptop in the folder“ Docks 9348 ”, sign for me he urgently needs to. "
Do not do that! Then there will be chaos with finding out who, what, why, when signed and to whom it all passed.
Our founders manage each of their own department, so we don’t equally divide the revenues. Most of the profit remains in circulation, invested in business development, some of it goes to the founders' salary. You want to earn more - you develop your department, you bring more money to the company as a whole.
# 5 Do not look for the guilty
Success is a common achievement, failure is also common. Even if there is a leader who is responsible for the result, or someone specific. It means that they were under-planned, under-discussed, underestimated the risks. It is necessary to correct the shoals and take measures so that they do not happen again.
At some point, due to the purely human factor, we messed up with the supplier and lost the purchase discount. The goods were paid for, but they could not pick it up when agreed. And then again failed.
The culprit was, and it was possible to inflate the problem out of it, but we talked and came to several conclusions:
- The quarrel does not eliminate the cause of the problem: we still will not refund the discount.
- We are not messed up because the culprit stupidly scored a job, but because he loaded up with other things. In actual fact, some were not so important: some of them could have been completely beaten, and the rest could be put off until later.
- Loss of discounts - a nuisance, but not critical. You can restore the relationship with the same supplier and return the discount or focus on working with another.
- According to the results:
- They began to plan things better, prioritize them.
- Found another supplier, which in fact was even more profitable.
But there are two of us. The more people, the more difficult.
It is impossible to lower the jambs on the brakes, from which everyone suffers. Is it contagious. Today I nakosyachil one, kept silent, tomorrow the same will do the other. As a result, the joint is either turned back to normal, or a problem arises: "Why can I get Xx, but I can't?"
But, if you work with friends, you don’t have to express it at all. Someone will stand up for one, someone for another, and disassembly in the spirit of "But here you are - And here you are." Or turns into an attack all on one. And the one and the other is not normal, and it is not known what will turn out. You conduct an educational conversation in private, calmly explain the joint and why it cannot be done this way.
It used to happen that a person accepted criticism on a personal account, he was offended. I had to admit that I scold only for work, friendship has nothing to do with it. It is difficult.
# 6 Separate work and free time
This is just a jamb! We sit in the office, discuss the SMM strategy, make the content, and then SUDDENLY find out that for half an hour we are just talking about wheelbarrows. Friendship is one model of communication, business is completely different, and you have to learn how to switch between them.
Confusing work with personal affairs is another feature of national business. And indeed a working relationship. It’s one thing when hired laborers are affected by this, the carrot and stick method is decided. If at the same swamp pulls business owners end badly.
When there were no employees, one of the founders was in charge, someone was in favor of a subordinate. And it happened that you go into the office, and everyone is sitting, having personal conversations, laughing, at work it shouldn't be like that. It’s impossible to motivate with money, with a bonus of friends.
We solved problems by talking, explaining, but it took a lot of time. For six months or a year, we just tormented ourselves, but in the end everyone accepted that we earn money at work. We went for a smoke break - here we are friends, you can talk about personal.
Business with a friend ≠ Business with a friend
This thesis is not a guide to action, so I stand it separately. A few scary business stories with friends have a common scenario.
- Worked together / met by chance, discovered common interests / met in social networks on a thematic forum.
- We launched a joint project.
- "Friend" began to mow.
- The narrator sits and thinks: “Well, as it was, they communicated normally, he was a good person. This is how business changes people, my father / uncle / boss in the old job said to me correctly”.
Or maybe the point is not that the person has changed, but that you did not know him properly before?
Here is one of these stories: the first co-founder pulled the money out of the cash register and disappeared. The second declared to the police, opened a case. It was revealed that the first has several millions of debts and overdue loans that are not related to the general business. If a friend is prone to adventures, spends more than he earns, and has already thrown mutual acquaintances, you know about it beforehand.
This does not mean that you can only work with friends. But do not blame such troubles on the fact that business with a friend is bad. You do not know what a person lives in private life - this is just a potential business partner, and take it accordingly.