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    Monthly Archives: March 2013

    Should You Mix Business with Friendship?

    Have you considered co-founding a new business with a family member or
    friend? If so, you’re in good company –Fox Business reporter Susan Shreter
    reports that about half of today’s startups are co-founded among friends,
    family members or spouses.

    Friends on StepsGoing into
    business with a friend or family member? It certainly makes sense that one
    would want to pursue their most ambitious goals with people they trust. But is
    doing so good or bad for the relationship you have with your co-founder?

    When working
    with friends, expectations of loyalty and understanding are higher than is
    common among everyday work colleagues. And when friends let us down,
    resentments can linger and cause a deep divide in both work relationship and
    personal relationships.

    Here are five
    ways startup misunderstandings can spiral out of control
    and potentially
    end friendships, according to Fox

    #1: Unmet Expectations. The
    typical startup business will take a lot more time and money to become
    profitable than anyone ever expects.

    #2: Work Style Conflicts. Even
    though friends get along great when hanging out at the bar, this compatibility
    may not resonate in the office

    #3: Business Strategy
    New startup partners tend to be well aligned to the grander
    goals of an organization, but rarely have worked through the nitty gritty
    details of how to achieve these goals.

    #4: Spending Conflicts. One of
    the most common areas of disagreement is spending authority and budget

    #5: No Way Out. What happens when one
    partner wants to sell out, quit or reduce involvement in the business?

    A recent Forbes article, titled “Co-Founding
    With a Friend – – Without Decimating a Friendship
    ,” shares a few words of
    wisdom from successful businesses founded by friends. One startup says “when
    making decisions, we make the conscious decision to not be disrespectful
    because at the end of the day, we want to stay friends.” Another startup
    recognizes the importance of keeping work and personal lives separate.

    To avoid any
    misunderstandings that could potentially end the business or the friendship, it
    is important to discuss all issues that might interfere with productive
    business building.

    Contact one of the business and estate planning attorneys at Meier Law Firm to discuss your business.

    References: Fox Business
    (June 13, 2011) “Why Co-Founding a Business Can Decimate

    Forbes (December 12, 2012) “Co-Founding With a Friend – Without
    Decimating a Friendship

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