6 Tips for Running a Business With a Friend

Apr 30, 2012

You have a knack for working on cars and your friend has management and marketing skills, so starting a business together is sounds like a good idea.

There are many challenged to overcome when turning this friendship into a successful business partnership.

Erica Cerulo, who co-founded the website Of a Kind with friend Claire Mazur, recently shared the following six tips for successfully running a business with a friend on The Daily Muse.

1. Use Your History to Your Advantage. “Having known each other for 10 years, we know a lot about one another. And that’s been immensely helpful in our business,” Cerulo wrote. “Knowing each other’s strengths and personalities inside and out shapes the way we interact in meetings, how we pitch the company to others, and who handles what part of the business. And coming to the table with that understanding behind us made us more productive and efficient in assigning roles and getting things done.”

2. Learn How to Fight. “You have to isolate the argument, hash it out, and try to move on-”and definitely keep work discussions from getting personal,” Cerulo wrote. It’s hard, and it sometimes requires stepping away from the conversation for a bit, but that’s okay. We spend so much time together that if we let every disagreement take hold of our moods, we’d snip at each other all day long.”

3. Take Time Apart. “If we can help it, Claire and I avoid each other like head lice on the weekends,” Cerulo wrote. “The risk of becoming a single entity is high.”

4. Let People In. “All founders probably struggle with this to some extent, but when you have a preexisting relationship with your co-founder, you have to try extra hard to make sure everyone else on your team feels ‘in,'” Cerulo suggested.

5. Don’t Get Offended When People Confuse You. “It’s gonna happen,” Cerulo wrote. “No one means anything by it.”

6. Just Be Friends. “It’s really hard to find time to focus on the friendship when there are a million things going and we use even five-minute cab rides to cross things off our to-do lists,” Cerulo wrote. “But if being business partners starts to usurp what came first-well, that’s not the point. Make sure you carve out some time to just have some fun.”

To read the complete The Daily Muse article, click here.