Best Friends, Inc.

You know your girlfriends are good for you, and studies agree that friendships between women have psychological and physical benefits. But would your best friend be a good business partner?

In honor of International Friendship Month, we asked Amy Wright and Michelle Herbert – best friends for 15 years and co-founders of Amy Michelle Go Totes, a company they grew by 17 percent in 2009 – how they keep their business and friendship strong. “We agreed that when this was all over, we’d still be best friends,”says Herbert.

And they play to their complementary strengths. “Amy is great with manufacturing and I’m better at running the business. So we do legwork in our areas – and make final decisions together.” What if they can’t agree? “We throw Diet Coke and pull hair,” says Wright, laughing. “Seriously, we say, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.’ Then we take the emotion out of it and focus on the numbers. We’ve fought a time or two, once at the hairdresser over fabric, but we always give it time, start fresh and laugh at ourselves.”

Want more?

Ladies who Launch Editor Amy Swift lists three things to consider before going into business with a friend: decide why you need a partner, discuss how you’ll deal with conflict and get everything in writing.

Working with family and friends can be difficult. When considering a friend for a business venture, ask yourself if they listen to you, if they are self-motivators and how much risk and time are they willing to take for this venture.

These friends started a business during the eye of the recession – and are making it work! They share everything from why they partnered up to how they handle disagreements and dividing up the tasks.

Bonus PINK Link: PINK shares 10 issues to address in a partnership agreement.

Minute Mentoring Video: Tassels co-owner Lynne Halpern shares how to have a successful partnership – and she’s making it work after 13 years.

“Constant use will not wear ragged the fabric of friendship.”
Dorothy Parker

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