Nothing Personal, Just Business: Pros and Cons of Working with Friends

Dont' let your relationship turn from office buddy to frienemy

(Image: Thinkstock)

From the 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather promotions debacle to Chrissy, Emily B. and Talia’s designer circus on VH1′s Chrissy & Mr. Jones, we’ve learned that mixing business with friendship can be a complex matter. Whether you’re starting a new business together, working in the same department or trying to get your friend hired, here are three pros and cons you need to consider:

For the Love of Money

Pro: If you and your business partner-homie are thinking of opening your own business, finances are going to be part of discussions. If you’re in tune with your friend and you two tend to think along the same lines financially, you’ll find it easy to make financial decisions.

Con: Money troubles are the quickest way to ruin a friendship. If the checks aren’t flowing, doing business with your friend can get rough and can put a strain on the relationship.

Resolution: It’s best to be sure you treat a friendpreneur relationship just like any other business investment or venture. Have proper documentation, clear-set roles and boundaries, and communication transparency.

It’s a Celebration Every Time We Link Up

Pro: Working with a friend becomes more enjoyable and exciting because they know you on a personal level. You get along and you’re socially compatible. You can take lunch breaks together and even vent to one another, ensuring understanding.

Con: Beyond the constant chit chat, giggles and story-swapping, work can easily become an unprofessional environment and may garner some unwanted attention from your boss. Also, lines can be crossed, causing conflict in times of disagreement, promotion or evaluation.

Resolution: True, you can be chummy, but be clear that work hours are for working. Also, you don’t want to take things personal in the event your friend gets that big promotion and you don’t. Be careful of mixing your professional response with your personal or emotional response to situations that are difficult or aren’t always favorable.

Ultimately, if you decide to start a business or work with a friend, remember to keep things professional at all times. Although it may be nice to have the support of a friend at work, it’s important to respect each other and strive for the best.

What do you think of working with friends? Sound like a potential nightmare or a dream come true? #SoundOff and follow @JayNHarrison on Twitter.

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