The new Netflix murder mystery film Glass Onion is a cautionary tale – but not about influencers, tech bros or ironic architecture, as some have suggested. But Glass Onion (along with HBO’s Succession) is actually a warning about the potential perils of going into business with your friends or family.
Such businesses are a huge contributor to any economy. Globally, between 70 and 80% of firms are co-owned or co-managed by family or friends. Close relations can be a great source of support and positive influence on a new idea or business.
My research, focusing on new business development within universities, shows that friends can be successful business partners. For students especially, entrepreneurial colleges and universities offer a range of support for friends to realise business dreams.
1. Transparency – what are everyone’s plans?
When embarking on a new business venture, it is important to be upfront about intentions and goals – in the short and long term. What brought you all to this potential startup? What do you wish to achieve? These are questions you should ask.
2. Security – seek legal advice early
Along with officially registering the company, the owners should contact an intellectual property lawyer to receive expert guidance on fairly protecting initial and ongoing contributions with appropriate trademarks, patents and copyrights where required.
3. Prioritise – stick to your strengths
This is what adds distinct value to businesses: remembering what skills you bring to the table. Even with friends, this isn’t an opportunity to simply hang out and have fun. Yes, you must enjoy your work, but time, money and livelihoods are at stake. A team comprised of many people with a variety of skills and experiences brings creativity, multiple perspectives and resilience amid inevitable change.
4. Be kind – appreciate and consider life changes
Like the volatility of business, our lives can change instantly. Co-owners should be mindful of changes to working patterns, lifestyles, and important events to maintain health and happiness. This can be particularly relevant when friends co-owning a business are at similar life stages, such as starting a family or getting married. Showing compassion and preparing for these factors, when they arise, can reduce tension and conflict in the day-to-day running of a business.
- ^ Glass Onion (www.youtube.com)
- ^ tech bros (www.esquire.com)
- ^ ironic architecture (adg.org)
- ^ Succession (www.youtube.com)
- ^ family (familybusinessunited.com)
- ^ friends (www.independent.co.uk)
- ^ positive influence (link.springer.com)
- ^ research (www.emerald.com)
- ^ universities (link.springer.com)
- ^ support (wonkhe.com)
- ^ This article is part of Quarter Life (theconversation.com)
- ^ Why you’re less likely to get rich these days if your parents aren’t already wealthy (theconversation.com)
- ^ Christmas films: there might be some truth to stories about hometown romances, according to research (theconversation.com)
- ^ Entrepreneurs know that failure is sometimes necessary – here’s what we can learn from them (theconversation.com)
- ^ critical to business success (www.emerald.com)
- ^ Succession (www.youtube.com)
- ^ plan ahead (startups.co.uk)
- ^ longstanding family businesses (www.sciencedirect.com)
- ^ Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock (www.shutterstock.com)
- ^ napkin (www.youtube.com)