The thought of starting a business can be daunting – but what about starting a business with your best friend? We understand that some of you may think that sounds like a terrible idea (because, you know, what happens if you argue? Or if your friendship is ruined by business troubles?), but, depending on the circumstances, it can also actually be one of the most rewarding experiences you have.
Christine McMackin and Tobi Baker-Daigle, co-founders of New England Med Spa, have put together their top tricks for owning a business with your best friend (and succeeding at it!).
Trust, trust, trust!
We first decided to go into business together because we trusted each other and knew we had each other’s best interests at heart. We learned from past experiences that you can’t trust everyone, and some people only care about their best interest.
Make sure your best friend is someone you know you can trust unequivocally. You have to be confident in your partner’s intentions and trust they align with yours.
Keep open communication when you’re starting a business with your best friend
Continual, open, honest communication is critical. Communication is the key to every relationship. If there is a conflict or difference in opinion, talk it out and don’t take it personally – at the end of the day, you and your business partner should both want the same thing, it’s just a matter of getting there! Don’t simmer on any issues – bring them forth with maturity and mutual respect.
Respect each other
Speaking of respect – it’s one of the pivotal aspects of our success! It may sound simple, and you’re probably thinking “of course I respect my best friend!” – but it’s not just simple, baseline respect. When you walk into work every day, leave your personal issues, even if your best friend is usually your go-to for venting, at the door.
Do not take things out on each other, and do not drag your business partner into your personal drama. When our clients are present, they also respect the integrity they see in our relationship, which strengthens our relationships with our clients.
Balance out your strengths and weaknesses
We each have our individual strengths and weaknesses and we use them to balance one another out. We know we are extremely lucky to have this collaboration and work consciously at it every day. We’ve both had different professional experiences and we come from different backgrounds, but the quality of our work is always our number one priority.
Our clients come first, and we’re never too prideful to admit that one of us may be better suited to handle certain situations over the other. That’s why consistent communication is so important – knowing who is going to tackle what makes our working relationship flow with ease. Brainstorming your strengths and weaknesses and planning your first year of business can really help.
Don’t hold grudges when you’re starting a business with your best friend
If you catch yourself feeling frustrated with your business partner, talk it out! Since your partner is also your best friend, don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind.
Nobody’s perfect, and when there’s a business on the line, it can be easier for frustrations with your BFF to arise. When something goes wrong, lean on one another and work through it together! Don’t play a blame game. Mistakes happen to everyone–we work to ensure the energy in our practice is full of tolerance, acceptance and love. No room for grudges here!
Honesty is the best policy, both in friendship and in a business partnership. It goes far deeper than just not lying to your partner – it’s important to be honest about your visions, plans and ideas as well. If you find yourself losing the ability to speak honestly with your partner about how you’re feeling, then it’s crucial to reflect to figure out why.
Is there a sense of judgment? Or a lack of equality in the relationship? Identify the reason for your hesitancy and talk it out. Make sure you are tactful in your approach, but also understand that it’s human nature to not always agree on everything.
Although it’s rare for us personally to disagree on business decisions, we do have differences in opinion from time to time. We make sure we hear one another out and separate our personal qualms from the best interest of our clients and our business.
It’s not necessary to over-divide tasks, simply collaborate with each other to make sure things get done. Don’t micromanage one another either–this will only lead to tension and discomfort.
Everything we do is a collaborative effort to grow our business and keep our clients happy and feeling beautiful. We find that a rigid system is less effective than communicative collaboration. We’re both mothers as well, and we collaborate with the understanding that life isn’t black and white.
Things come up in our personal lives, and as long as things get done, it’s not a competition for who does more or who did this. We love each other and our business, and that’s the baseline for our positive environment.
Share laughter every day
This one’s easy – laugh every day with your BFF! We laugh together every single day. We’re constantly together sharing our lives and our joyous moments. We celebrate wins, personally and professionally, by looking towards the future, working harder and manifesting our next win. We genuinely enjoy being around each other. Working with your best friend is the perfect recipe for an atmosphere of laughter and happiness.
About the authors of Thinking of starting a business with your best friend?
Christine McMackin and Tobi Baker-Daigle, two beauty geniuses, hold over two decades worth of experience, combined. With experience working as a celebrity makeup artist, Christine is a certified family nurse practitioner and has been working within the aesthetic industry for over 20 years. After becoming a leader in the industry and being deemed the title of the “natural look nurse injector,” Tobi created her own aesthetic practice in 2011. Since then, McMackin and Baker-Daigle have come together to create New England Skin Center — a woman-owned, BFF-run medical spa.