Before bringing loved ones into your business, here’s what you need to know to protect your relationships and your company.
Bringing a family member or friend on board as a business partner may seem like a fine idea, but the relationship can prove tricky to navigate-or to end, if things don’t go well. “It’s easy to get into business, but it’s hard to get out,” says Wayne Rivers, president of the Family Business Institute, a consulting firm based in Raleigh, N.C.
That means you need to take a step back and think carefully before partnering with a friend or relative. Here are 10 key questions to consider:
Are we in it for the same reasons?
Be clear about your goals. Do you want to expand your business and eventually sell it, or build something your family can pass down? “The mistake is not being clear about what your intentions are,” says David Ransburg, a consultant withThe Family Business Consulting Group, Inc., based in Chicago. If you don’t have the same goals for the business, you’ll have a hard time making plans or coming to a consensus on big decisions.
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