This is a question that I get asked frequently, especially since I’ve owned and operated Lin and Jirsa Photography for over a decade now with my loyal partners, Chris, and Justin Lin. There is no easy or right answer, but there is a way to figure out if it’s right for you.

Like any decision-making process, you’ve got to list out your pros and cons to figure out if this is the right move for your career. In our new series, “Is This Thing On,” we’ll dive into commonly asked questions and current topics in the photography industry.

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In this episode, I’ll give you three cons and three pros of going into business with friends, family, or acquaintances.

Con# 1:  You Gotta Fight For Your Right

Every time I hear that potential business partners get along seamlessly and don’t argue with one another, I advise them to run in the opposite direction because this is a major red flag. This isn’t an indicator that you will succeed; it’s more likely that you won’t. In every single business partnership, you are going to run into conflict, tension, and disagreement. Business partnerships are far more similar to marriages where you need to be able to get into a fight and come out of it with the relationship intact and stronger because of it.

Con# 2:  it’s not about you

Being in a business partnership means that your time isn’t just your time anymore. It is now dedicated to your partners and business, which means you don’t have the freedom to decide when you come and go. You need to provide an equitable contribution, equivalent to that of your partner(s). This could mean volunteering your time and giving up certain freedoms because you have to take into consideration what’s best for your partnership and business.

Con# 3:  longer decision-making process

The decision-making process is an obvious aspect that transforms with the addition of a new individual’s beliefs and opinions (especially large decisions). This means that compromise is crucial, and you can’t get butt-hurt if your ideas get shut down.

Pro# 1: Diverse Set Of Skills & Experience

Your partner is bound to come to the table with different skills and experience simply because they are not you. Having that diversity allows you to delegate tasks and focus on your talents and abilities. Each of you will have different strengths and weaknesses, and that will play into my next point.

Pro# 2: Division of Labor

The aforementioned strengths and weaknesses will help you determine areas of expertise that you each choose to specialize in. By dividing the tasks based on skill and interest you create a synergistic effect. This will be better for the overall quality of work output and efficiency of your business.

For example, currently, my partner Justin manages all of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge. He has developed managerial skills that are far beyond what Chris and I have been able to develop. Chris, on the other hand, has been able to focus on SEO, Marketing, and Lead Generation. This has allowed me to focus primarily on education and creating training systems to help our team grow in the art itself.

Pro #3: Morale Boost

Going into a business by yourself can be lonely. Having business partners helps in leveling out the emotional roller coaster that comes with being an entrepreneur. If you know yourself well enough, you’ll immediately understand whether or not your personality works best by yourself or with others supporting and helping you.

Well, that’s pretty much it. Whether you choose to run your business with a partner or two, weigh out your options and ensure that you can work as a cohesive unit to make the right choices together. If you want more information on running a successful photography studio check out The Complete Business Training System. It is divided up into 4 courses and uses stats and data from our decade in this industry to help you build the business of your dreams.

If you would like to see more episodes comment down below with a question you’ve been itching to have answered. See more of our Youtube content here!