Dirty Secrets of Small Business examines the myth that in a small business, a good business partner is a friend, spouse or relative.
According to Jack Mencini, Maximum Value Partners (MVP) “nothing could be further from the truth.”
Adam Sonnhalter also with MVP, reconfirmed that one of the downfalls of a friend being involved in the business is trying to have a difficult conversation about a problem of them not doing the job to your specifications. If you have history with them, it is torture trying to do what is right for your business and still trying to deliver the hard conversation with someone who has been a friend for a very long time. Do you choose the business or the friendship and forego what needs to be done for a successful business future?
One way to test if it could possibly work with someone you are close to and want to hire, spend a week with them on vacation to see their true spots come out and how their behavior and work ethic is (helping out when you are doing the cooking, etc.). It’s a chance to see their true spots so to speak.
Another consideration is that there are different expectations during a friendship, a work environment and a social setting. Who takes charge? What is their work experience and will they really fit?
People make the decision to hire friends, because it is easy and they haven’t thought about it if doesn’t go well and becomes awkward. Your social time with them changes and the easy conversations after hours become the tough conversations with work issues.
Jack and Adam, as business coaches, have found that friends as business partners usually don’t mix in the majority of small business situations. Are you ready to take the chance? Let Jack and Adam know if family and friends have worked out for you in your business. Email, firstname.lastname@example.org.