Brandon on GPB – Good Buddies, Good Business Partners?

Lots of professionals are now supplementing their income as freelancers or striking out on their own altogether.

A study last fall from the consultants at MBO Partners found nearly 18 million independent workers nationwide. No doubt some of those people are running businesses with their friends, even though that can be fraught with challenges.

“It requires so much up-front hygiene to do it well,” said Brandon Smith, a workplace consultant who teaches about workplace culture and communication at Emory and Georgia State universities. “It can be done well, and then it can be a beautiful thing. But if the hygiene isn’t done well, it is so combustible, and you end up not only with a failed business, but now you’ve lost this valuable friendship.”

Smith said a business partnership between friends is a lot like a marriage, and two people considering creating a business need the same kind of premarital counseling.

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