But is it worth the risk of losing your shirt, your BFF—or both?
Laura Loving and April Wilkins decided to take the gamble and become business partners in 2009, launching a line of greeting cards, bags, and tiles emblazoned with images from Loving’s studio art.
Best friends since 9th grade, the two women knew the strengths they’d bring to the company, called Laura Loving Happy: Wilkins’ organizational skills plus Loving’s creative juices. A perfect match, right?
But working together takes practice, says Wilkins. You think you know your best friend, but you don’t really know her until you start a business with her.
“Regardless of what people say, business is personal,” says Wilkins. “Just like a marriage, business partners have to know how to communicate, compromise and work through issues.” The two routinely disagree about all kinds of day-to-day things, “from the shade of gray we’re going to use on the website to an email message.”
Here’s how they stay focused on the bottom line.