Business is Business, Friend.


Why is it so hard to go into business with friends? I have somewhat mixed feelings when it comes to going into working business relationships with friends and family.

I’m convinced that it is somewhat reminiscent of the whole “pride” element that families and friends share and in a lot of cases stubbornness and unwillingness to concede to someone they consider direct competition, either physically or intellectually.

I’ve had the opportunity to work on the grounds floor of one of the largest limo companies in Scottsdale, AZ as well as a privately owned small business in Grand Haven, MI. I have also worked on the corporate level for large companies. So, I have a broad range of experience in the world of business. Corporations can go to hell for all I care. The business structure of corporations, while efficiently run in most cases, are far too nuanced and their focus is too convoluted, and as a business structure they are far more concerned with adhering to a code of ethics that is intended to avoid possible liabilities and resulting law suits they always assume are impending.

They really do constrict their own ability to focus on their employees needs because of their built in paranoia of constant checks and balances and attempts to cover their own asses. The quality of life that is reflected in their employees is not one you would or should expect from multi-million dollar corporations. Their focus is on money first, employees second…or in many cases third, fourth or fifth. It is rare that the every day businessperson share ownership of a large corporation with a family member or close friend. These types of business modules usually come about through a series of network connections. Most usually with people not directly related.


Small businesses, on the other hand, are far more often started by friends attempting to go into business with each other because of most people’s innate desire to see their friends and family succeed and be happy and well taken care of. It’s a very natural inclination for the aspiring businessperson to want to bring on their friends and family.

In order for these kinds of personal relationships to function properly in a business, there must be a much higher level of accountability put into affect. The personal side of it must be set to the side when it comes to delegations and expectations. When goals are set, each person must be held accountable for their portion. The same rules apply whether they are family, friends, or simply business colleagues.

It’s far too easy to let personal relationship dilute expectations of a business. There should be some sort of hierarchy established based on each person’s individual talents and abilities. Experience in different business aspects is a good indicator of how your hierarchy should be established.

Of course, you don’t want anyone to feel that their contribution is valued less than another. But you must be pragmatic and logical about it. Be realistic when establishing responsibilities for each person.

It is a business. Plain and simple. Treat it as such.

If someone is constantly behind on their tasks or achieving their objectives, they must be held accountable in the same way as any other employee working for a non-privately owned business.

Above all else, maintain a professional structure. You’ll be fine.

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