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Make Sure Expectations Are Communicated When Doing Business With Friends or Family

Most small-business owners or entrepreneurs avoid hiring friends or family because the professional and personal rarely mix well. If it can’t be avoided, the best course of action is to be firm in your dealings.

There’s an interesting piece up at Entrepreneur right now by Yair Tygiel about tactics for hiring friends and family. It should be noted that blind nepotism is not a good business strategy and most entrepreneurs prefer not to mix their personal lives with their professional dealings. That said, sometimes the best designers, engineers, or marketers for your product happen to share genetic material or are your intimate friends. If it cannot be avoided, the best option for doing business with those close to you is to firmly establish parameters and expectations. Communication — as it always is — is key.

Tygiel offers a list of tips for dealing with friends and family in a business context. For example, it’s important to remember that skill and aptitude are not everything when working on a project. You have to determine whether your graphic designer cousin is capable of operating under deadlines and can adopt a professional approach to her work. You also must quickly establish that your working relationship is not going to be carefree like your friendship may be. Hand out guidelines and requirements. Assure them that they are not dealing with “friend” you, but rather “business” you, and therefore expectations are different. If for even a second you have thoughts that your business relationship could threaten your personal relationship, it’s best to cut off the deal as early as possible. No job is worth losing a friend over, especially when it was your own dealings that led to it.

Take a look at the full piece linked below. Have you ever done business with a family member or close friend? Was your experience positive or negative? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Read more at Entrepreneur.

Below, Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran explains her personal strategies for smart hiring:

Photo credit: Ditty_about_summer / Shutterstock


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