What It’s REALLY Like to Start A Business With Your Best Friend
Many people have said that you should never go into business with your friends, but our co-founders Stacie & Kristi prove them wrong. Starting Thryv Organics together was a no-brainer for these best friends, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t experienced their ups and downs as business partners. So in honor of International Friendship Day, Stacie and Kristi are sharing their best advice for partners-in-crime who want to become partners in business.
Make sure you’re compatible as business partners.
When starting a business with a friend, it’s not enough to simply get along with the other person. You need to know if you are compatible as business partners as well. If you are thinking about starting a business with your best friend, ask yourself these questions: Do we have the same work ethic? Do we have the same goals? How have we worked through conflict in the past? Is this someone I can trust and enjoy working with long term?
“One of the reasons why Kristi and I work as business partners is because we have the same work ethic. We are both incredibly hard workers,” says our co-founder Stacie. Kristi says, “We share a lot of the same likes & dislikes and moral compass. I know I can trust Stacie with my livelihood, which is Thryv Organics.” Just like trust and respect are important for a good friendship, they are key for a good business relationship too.
Set realistic expectations and goals.
Once you’ve decided that you and your best friend are compatible as business partners, you must now talk through your expectations & goals for starting a business together. Make sure you are on the same page about your vision for the company, what your business goals are and your timeline for achieving those goals.
You must also set realistic expectations for your roles in the company. Perhaps one of you is the “ideas” person and loves the creative side of your business. Maybe the other prefers to be behind the scenes and oversee the day-to-day operations. Or maybe you want to work together to manage every aspect of your business. These are all things you must talk through before starting a business with your best friend.
Communication is key!
Sometimes it can be difficult to speak up against your best friend. But when you are business partners, it’s essential that you communicate when you are feeling confused or uneasy about something. “One of the things I love about partnering with my best friend is that I know Stacie better than anyone,” says our co-founder Kristi. “We can read each other so well, almost like we know what the other is thinking.” Stacie adds, “We also respect each other’s opinions and show grace when we disagree or run into conflict.”
And yes, there will be moments of conflict. Maybe you two disagree on a product name. Maybe your partner forgot to hit send on an important email. Maybe you accidentally slept through a team meeting. No matter the conflict, remember that everyone makes mistakes and in order to maintain a healthy working relationship, you must show grace in those moments. At the end of the day, you are both working to ensure the success of your business, and you both have the company’s best interests in mind.
Nurture your friendship.
Lastly, don’t forget what brought you together in the first place. Like our co-founder Kristi says, “It can be hard on a friendship when you have to put the business first. The navigation between the two can be tricky, so it’s important for Stacie and I to set aside time to just connect as friends -- no work talk allowed.” So whether you start each workday by catching up on each other’s personal lives or block out time every Friday to hit a happy hour together, make sure you spend time with your partner away from work. Because when your friendship thrives, your business thrives too.