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Old 21st May 2010, 08:24 PM   #1
AngelBiz
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Default Would You Hire A Close Friend To Work In Your Business?

My advice is this for all small business owners DO NOT HIRE FRIEND OR RELATIVE TO WORK IN YOUR BUSINESS, if at all possible. I know it sounds harsh and may be even counter-intuitive. After all, in small business you need someone who you can trust with your money and who else would be better suited than a close friend or a relative who you know very well and can trust.

I am not arguing with the benefits of having a trusted friend or relative in the business who can watch for your good. However, you have to weigh this against the downsides that come with it. From what we have seen and experienced the downsides exceed the benefits; which calls for avoiding the situation, if possible.

So what are the problems and issues that come along with the hiring of a close friend or a relative in your business?

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Old 22nd May 2010, 06:23 AM   #2
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Possibly sage advice, but the truth is we all hire friends and family.........and now you know the rrrrrrrrrrrest of the story!!

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Old 22nd May 2010, 11:05 AM   #3
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Possibly sage advice, but the truth is we all hire friends and family.........and now you know the rrrrrrrrrrrest of the story!!
That is true. Given that this is a fact of life; what can you do to avoid having problems in the business and ruined relationships. Any thoughts?

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Old 23rd May 2010, 09:18 AM   #4
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I hire family and friends all the time, but I limit it to a timeframe or a project. Once the project is done they are out of a job. If it doesnt work out you know there is an end and if it did work out next time you get backlogged you can be more comfortable in knowing you have someone you can hire to help out.

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Old 23rd May 2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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I hire family and friends all the time, but I limit it to a timeframe or a project. Once the project is done they are out of a job. If it doesnt work out you know there is an end and if it did work out next time you get backlogged you can be more comfortable in knowing you have someone you can hire to help out.
I like that approach. I would apply it to any new hire; not just friends and families. That way you can try it before you buy it; so to speak.

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Old 23rd May 2010, 06:59 PM   #6
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When the friend or family member has a strong work ethic it usually works out. We tend to give friends and family members too many liberties and it hurts us in the long run. Furthermore there are issues that come up that puts the business owner in an uncomfortable spot. It always happens. If they have a strong work ethic then it usually works out. Especially good is if they have a strong work ethic and handle the money like a bookkeeper or CFO. Then you have someone you can trust dealing with the money. If a family member or friend has a strong work ethic and they handle the money I will take that and deal with any of the problems that will probably come out of the friend family relationship. If they do not have a strong work ethic then watch out!

Certainly another option is the "by project" method that has been suggested.

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Old 24th May 2010, 12:58 AM   #7
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Hiring a friend/ relative has its pros and cons. It might affect your relationship positively or negatively. It's a big risk to take, but one good thing about it is that you trust the person completely.

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Old 26th May 2010, 03:14 PM   #8
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In my first business, I hired my best friend and unfortunately that experience destroyed our friendship. My advise to you look closely at your exit strategy with it comes hiring a close friend or family member. How long are you planning on employing this person? What are you going to do when this person does not perform to the standard required for the job? What if you and that person have a falling out - how would it affect the business? How will it affect your personal life ( family life etc)

Would I hire a friend again? - I guess I would but I would structure the hiring contract clearly and have very clear expectations and guidelines and of course a written exit plan.

just my two cents

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Old 26th May 2010, 07:00 PM   #9
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I have some experience in this. I feel it's okay to 'hire' friends or relatives. But that differs significantly from actually partnering with a friend or relative.

Through my personal experience, a friend and I started by co-owning the business. I was the one being stupid because I already had experience in the field while my friend had zero experience. We split the costs 50/50 (another stupid decision of mine) and I ended up doing all the work.

I expected my friend to put in twice as much effort as I did (considering the fact that she had a lot of learning to do in terms of skills) but she didn't. I ended up doing most of the work and eventually I decided I was not willing to put in any more work in our project because I had my other freelance jobs to deal with.

Right now I'm considering starting my own business and I want to run it on my own. I will hire complete strangers who are qualified for the job. My friend has no idea of this new project of mine but I'm sure she won't be pleased to learn about it. It worries me a lot but on the other hand she's already showed me how inefficient she is as a partner.

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Old 26th May 2010, 08:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zharlene View Post
I have some experience in this. I feel it's okay to 'hire' friends or relatives. But that differs significantly from actually partnering with a friend or relative.

Through my personal experience, a friend and I started by co-owning the business. I was the one being stupid because I already had experience in the field while my friend had zero experience. We split the costs 50/50 (another stupid decision of mine) and I ended up doing all the work.

I expected my friend to put in twice as much effort as I did (considering the fact that she had a lot of learning to do in terms of skills) but she didn't. I ended up doing most of the work and eventually I decided I was not willing to put in any more work in our project because I had my other freelance jobs to deal with.

Right now I'm considering starting my own business and I want to run it on my own. I will hire complete strangers who are qualified for the job. My friend has no idea of this new project of mine but I'm sure she won't be pleased to learn about it. It worries me a lot but on the other hand she's already showed me how inefficient she is as a partner.
Sounds like partnering with a close friend make it even more challenging. When you have hired a friend at least there is an understanding of who the boss is. I have written couple of posts on partnership including pros and cons and how to make it work. You might want to look it over here - http://www.angelbusinessadvisors.com...tnership-work/

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