Post-Graduate Entrepreneurs: Turning Social Contacts Into Business Partners

Creator: tungphotoWhether unemployed or simply seeking a better paid opportunity than an entry-level position, starting one’s own business may pave a road to future financial freedom. Starting a business with a friend, on that note, makes the journey down that road all the more entertaining.

Why Partner?

Envy is a perfect example of two friends who miss the partnership train on the way to Business Town and regret the decision. Jack Black and Ben Stiller play best friends and next-door neighbors in this 2004 film. When Black invents a new product, Stiller shoots it down; Black, however, becomes wildly rich while Stiller is left… well, in envy.

Maybe a comedy film isn’t the best business model for two (or more) friends looking to start a partnership, but it raises an interesting theme of taking advantage of those ideas that surface while shooting the breeze. One friend’s zany notion could be the next million-dollar product, as in the case of the Pet Rock. Gary Dahl’s friends thought he was stoned; the 1970s consumer market thought he was a genius worthy of making some money.

How to Maintain Business and Friendship Alike

Once the great idea is determined and the partnership formed, the key is to hold it together. The Social Network, a quasi-realistic portrayal of Mark Zuckerburg’s creation of Facebook, highlights this business issue when the co-founder of the website sues Zuckerburg for diluting his share of the company.

Importance, too, falls on the level of trust between partners. The once trusty designated driver of college years can evolve into a trusty accountant, or manager, or artistic designer; the only limit to possibility is the level of confidence in one another as business partners. The former roommate who left the front door open every time he left the house, for example, might not make the most reliable head of Loss Prevention. To avoid future drama and lawsuits, choose partners wisely based on personal experience.

Getting Started

Seeds need water to grow into plants that make more seeds; businesses need money to make money. A catch-22, certainly, but a reality nonetheless. Grants make the process of getting off the ground a bit easier (the English major friend comes in handy here for the application process).

Tantamount to success, location makes a vast difference on the longevity of the business. As businesses turn to the internet, marketing and consumer audience alike expands beyond the street-corner storefront; hire a friend with coding skill to maximize on this trend.

Forever Alone

Of course, in the case of the socially anxious, the idea of pairing up to start a business may sound more like a nightmare. To reduce the unemployment chances that pair with the disorder, the option of becoming a solo entrpreneur always stands available. Obviously, there’s a certain benefit to splitting the profits only one way.

Yet, even Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had co-founders of their enterprises; the proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

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