As a business owner, this is a question that I have come full circle on over the years. My answer is this: Sometimes
My reason for doing business with family and friends is simple: If your family or friends will not look out for you, and vice versa, then who will? Personally, I believe in treating all people fairly whether it is a friend, client, vendor…whomever. So for me, it is an easy transition and in my mind a win-win situation – which it absolutely should be!
However, problems can and will arise when the other party is a friend or relative doesn’t share this same point of view. If this is the case, my question is this: Do you really want that person as a friend? I don’t.
If your “friends” don’t think highly enough of you to do business with you or trust you with their project, money, etc., then are they really your friend (assuming you are responsible, of course) I want friends who believe in me and trust me.
There is so much negativity out there that I look to my friends for advice, comfort – and when I have my doubts – reassurance. Who better to do business with than your friends?
With that said there are situations where I would not want to do business with a friend. For example, when a “friendship” is leveraged with an expectation for cost savings. In this case, the best thing to do is to be upfront with them and explain why a business relationship would not be a good fit.
Many times it is just a difference in personalities or expectations. The key is to be upfront about why you think the relationship will not work and communicate it so that everyone is on the same page and nobody’s feelings get hurt. 99% of the time they are thinking the same thing you are!
Don’t keep track of who does what for whom – it never ends well. Those who expect things ultimately get less in the long run and these expectations will destroy the relationship as one or both parties will ultimately feel slighted.
Those that give without expectation of getting anything in return seem to get so much more.
People who say, “I never do business with friends”, scare me a little. Do they even have friends? Or are they afraid their friends will see their true colors?
If you do decide to take the leap and do business with a friend you will certainly learn a lot about them – and yourself – and at the very least you will find out one of two things. Either they really weren’t friend material to begin with or they are even more amazing than you originally thought.
If you are fortunate and have an amazing experience working with a friend then you will have found yet another trusted resource that you can always count on and one that would do anything for you. What could be better than that? It’s a true win-win!