5 Ways to Maintain a Healthy and Productive Business Relationship

Have you decided to start a business with your friend, sibling or partner? Let’s face it; you know each other very well, what could possibly go wrong?

Consider why you thought about setting up this business relationship in the first place. You know the person, you trust him/her, and you are able to share your thoughts and feelings openly. Doesn’t going into business together just seem like a natural step?

Here are 5 ways to keep your business relationship on track:

1. Talk honestly about what you want the business to achieve for you. Do your goals and aspirations match? Do you hold the same values? Get any potential problems out in the open from the start rather than running into issues as your business grows.

2. Speak to other people who have set up in business together. Find out what has worked to help build their successful relationship. Ask them to share the ups and downs to paint you a clearer picture.

3. Set agreed ground rules for the operation of the business e.g. your individual roles, pay and the number of hours you will work etc Prepare for the worst by establishing a painless exit strategy.

4. Give it a go before you officially commit to going into business together. A trial period allows you to see if you really are compatible. Perhaps work on some small projects first.

5. Review at an early stage. Is it working for you both? Are you meeting your expectations? Have the goal posts moved? Share your grievances. Review your progress on a regular basis.

Working together with a friend, colleague or partner can develop into a highly successful partnership however it’s best to set ground rules to make sure your business dealings remain in agreement, just like your personal relationship.