Exits and Entrances
Further to our discussion with Eppie Anderson about her new business plans, her last question is, for her, one of the most important factors in planning her new joint venture. How do we part friends?
Importantly, we often go into business with people we know, people we like – friends.
But how often have we seen friendships and relationships perish in the face of business difficulties? This business owner is keen to be able to identify the pitfalls up front to make sure she and her business partner come out of the other end of the business cycle as friends.
In truth, this is one of the big ones. And it’s all down to emotion.
From both research and personal experience, we would counsel that all parties accept the risks of failure and success upfront, and commit to engaging and communicating meaningfully with each other whatever circumstances the business finds itself in.
In business, failure is rarely absolute. Even if it seems the worst has happened and a business closes as a result, that does not mean that it never had value. In this eventuality it is often possible to look back at its successes, the influence it may have had in its sector, personal and career growth for its people.
So early conversations and commitments about how to work together, how to handle issues as well as successes are key to parting friends.