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Can you do business with friends

Updated on April 11, 2012


For most of us partners is an integral part of doing business. Some are loners and can take any type of work all by themselves. However, they will definitely be limited in their endeavors. There will always be things to delegate to, things you cannot do alone effectively, things you will need advice on and etc. Even if you are very talented, you will surely limit your profits by doing everything yourself. So, choosing trustworthy partners is essential. And can those partners be your friends? That is the question, can be or cannot be? Some have a rule never to do business with friends or family members. Others think that it is best to work with your relatives and people who are close to you. Let us look at the pros and cons of the idea of working with your buddies. Let us look at some problems that may arise when you do business with friends.

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If there is an idea in the back of your mind that your friend can do something for you when you can’t it may eventually cause tension and stress in relationship for taking for granted the idea that a friend must do something is business is faulty. You should divide the workload equally.

Confusion between friendship and business interests

This could probably be one of the most important issues to deal with. You should separate the two and work on the basis of business interests and mutual agreements. When one starts thinking that another one should do this or that just because he or she is a friend this will probably lead not only to problems in business, but problems in relationship. Do not abuse your friendly relationship in business.

Expecting discounts and getting things cheap because of friendship

A lot of people expect everything free from their friends. If your friend is a pro in some field, do not try to manipulate him into doing something for you free of charge. Ask him what the price for the service would be and be ready to pay for it. Maybe he will give you a discount!

You can lose friends’ money

People sometimes ask their friends for money to invest into their businesses. That is a very dangerous thing to do. Why? Because, you are running a risk of destroying trust, if you lose his money when your business fails!

It can end your relationship and even ruin your business

This is a consequence of not being able to manage business properly and strictly follow your set agreements, plans, strategies and responsibilities. It is good to think before starting any business with friends about possible danger of ruining friendship and be open about any question you believe you have to talk about.

Mixing business and friendship (funny)

Be open and speak your mind

Before you start any business project you have to think about possible problems that may arise. When you want to do it with friends you have to go through all the pros and cons and all possible negative scenarios and discuss how you would behave if you fail.

Base work load on equality principles and do not count on friendship

At some point somebody might start taking things for granted and assume that his friend can do something instead of him, because he is a friend. That does not work. There has to be an agreement and work load sharing based on it. Do not try to appeal to friendship if you fail to do what you have to do. Your friend will appeal to your mutual agreement and he will be right in doing so.

Support and help each other to succeed

You should have a supporting attitude towards each other and try to notice the good things about one another rather than concentrating on mistakes and other negative stuff. Positive attitude strengthens your relationship and motivation to continue doing business together and succeed.

Spend time together not talking about business deals

If you are friends and business partners you have to set aside time when you do not talk about business, but relax, entertain yourselves and simply have fun. You need to keep not only business type of relationships but buddy type too. Money and work is not everything and they should not become your priority number, otherwise you will miss far more important things in life.


Maybe the article did not dive into the depths of the topic, but I still hope you were able to get something useful from what I wrote here. I think you see now, that there are more disadvantages than advantages of working with friends. However, if you take appropriate measures, this experience can strengthen both your business and relationships. God bless you in all of your endeavors.


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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      It would be difficult to keep a good relationship going if the business was not able to satisfy your friends's expectations. It is best, as you say, to be up front with them and honest in each detail of the business service. Interesting read!

    • fibo777 profile image

      fibo777 5 years ago

      Thanks again for reading my hubs and commenting on them teaches12345. Have a nice day.

    • ekstrom002 profile image

      ekstrom002 5 years ago

      I tried starting a small business with an old friend of mine. I say old because we aren't friends anymore. The turmoil of the business mirrored our relationship. This hub holds a lot of truth.

    • fibo777 profile image

      fibo777 5 years ago

      That often happens. Most of the stories that I know about doing business with friends end sadly. Thanks for reading the hub ekstrom002.

    • ekstrom002 profile image

      ekstrom002 5 years ago

      You're welcome, good work on the hub!

    • fibo777 profile image

      fibo777 5 years ago

      Thanks again. I will read some of your hubs soon too.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 5 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Solid ideas here. Great hub. So true, best to make friends at work and other friends into different batches. Sad, but true.

    • fibo777 profile image

      fibo777 5 years ago

      Oh, yes, it happens all the time. Nobody forces us to do financial business with friends though. Thanks for reading the hub Ruby H Rose.

    • help101 profile image

      help101 5 years ago

      Sometimes when you are in business with a friend, you end up doing all the messy work. You are just trying to please them. Meanwhile, they do not notice.

    • fibo777 profile image

      fibo777 5 years ago

      Exactly. Good point help101. Trying to please is probably one of the biggest errors one can make in friendship. There cannot be friendship without truth. Pleasing should be a natural consequence in relationships.

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