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Co-Owning Questions

If you’re thinking about going into business with a friend, you might want to heed some advice from the National Federation of Independent Business. Before you let your best buddy be your business partner, make sure your goals and commitment levels match up. Here are some questions to ask before you take the plunge with your pal:

What is your dream job?

A successful small-
business owner wants
to be a small-business owner. If your friend’s ultimate work goals aren’t the same as yours, she might not have the determination to stick out the tough times.

Why do you want to go into business?

If your friend’s answers include a dream of being his own boss and a desire to reap the rewards of hard work, he is likely a worthy candidate for a business partner. If he responds that it sounds like fun to go into business with a friend, then you might want to reconsider. While co-owning a business will be rewarding, you’ll need a partner who is realistic about the headaches you’ll have to endure.

How much time per week do you
intend to spend starting and growing the business?

If your friend’s answers vary from yours, one of you might start to resent putting in more time than the other.

Would you do this without me?

While the idea of starting a business with a friend is a lot less scary than
doing it totally on your own, a successful small-business owner will ultimately be the type of person who can do things for herself. If your friend couldn’t imagine doing this alone, then you might not have a true partner.

What income do you currently
need to make? What income do
you want to make?

While many small-business owners make a good amount of money, most don’t when they’re just starting out. In fact, you and your friend must be prepared to invest money in your business that you might not see returned for a while. Make sure your friend has realistic expectations.

Joy Keller

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master.

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