Inc.

It's the age of the startup, and it feels like everyone has their own business. Whether you have an idea for an app, a cafe, or a publication, working for yourself can be a very tempting prospect. But running a business isn't a one person job, and you'll undoubtedly need help bringing your aspirations to fruition. Most likely, you'll turn to an equally ambitious friend to help you get your business off the ground, but is working closely with a friend a good idea?

Here are 5 tips you need to know before going into business with a friend.

1. Keep it Equal

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The tips on this list are in reference to a business relationship in which each party has an equal share of authority. Hiring a friend to be your subordinate in a business venture is never a good idea, as the unequal power dynamic will undoubtedly cause problems in the friendship. Additionally, it can be hard to respect someone as your boss if you're used to grabbing drinks with them on the weekend and know all about their personal life. When going into business with a friend, the only real option is for both parties to have an equal investment in the venture. This also means trying to keep salaries and work loads as equal as possible.

2. Set Clear Guidelines For Your Professional Relationship

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One of the dangers of working with someone you're close to can be withholding honest feedback for fear of damaging your friendship. It can be harder to be blunt with a friend than it is with a colleague, but open communication is necessary for any business to work. Before you go into business together, sit down and discuss how you will both work to create a productive professional relationship, without sacrificing your friendship. This may mean agreeing that the success of the business depends on neither friend taking professional feedback too personally or even very explicitly laying out each person's role so that there's less potential for conflict later on.

3. Agree to Keep Work Within Work Hours


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One of the fastest ways to ruin a friendship is by making it all about the business you have together. A simple way to avoid this is to agree to only discuss work during work hours, allowing your friendship to continue to exist as something separate from the business. Of course, with the long hours that often come with starting your own business, sometimes this is easier said than done. If you and your friend need to be able to talk about work at all hours of the day for most of the week, that's fine, but make sure that you leave at least an evening a week where you can just be friends.

4. Avoid Being Competitive


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It's natural for friends to share a sense of healthy competition, but this can backfire when you're both working towards the same goal. Try to create a business relationship in which success and failure is shared equally, regardless of who had a larger hand in the creation of each outcome. If you're constantly trying to prove to each other that you're the more valuable half of the partnership, it's going to be pretty hard to get anything done.

5. Know Each Other's Strengths and Weaknesses Before Going into Business

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If you're constantly frustrated with your friend for being bad with clients, and they hate the way you handle numbers, you may find yourself with an unproductive partnership and a damaged friendship. Before you go into business with a friend, it's important to have a real understanding of the way your respective traits will complement each other and what weaknesses you need to keep in mind. If you start the business relationship with a clear understanding of the other person's strengths and weaknesses, you're less likely to grow resentful towards them later on and can create a distribution of responsibilities that best suits each person's skills.

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Why You Need Cometeer Coffee: Coffee You Can Take on the Go

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There’s an internet trend that says that everyone has three drinks: one for energy, one for hydration, and one for fun.


Hydration drinks are usually seltzer, a sports drink, or good old-fashioned water. Fun drinks can be anything from boba to kombucha to a refreshing fountain sprite. But the drink you choose for energy says the most about you. Are you a chill tea drinker? An alternative yerba mate devotee? A matcha-obsessed TikTok That Girl wannabe? A chaotic Red Bull chugger? Or are you a lover of the classics, a person after my own heart, who just loves a good cuppa joe?

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

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We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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