The Pitfall of a Friend: The Reasons For Hiring a Friend, and Why They Don’t Fully Pan Out

Hiring a good friend or family member is a major trap for a budding entrepreneur. It can be the kiss-of-death for a business leader that is just starting to develop their identity. Oddly, it can seem like such a good idea for an assortment of reasons. These can be:

  • Cheap help. A friend is willing to work for less to support his or her friend
  • Knowing their strengths and weaknesses
  • A built-in level of trust
  • It saves time. Instead of digging around for help, help is already here and being offered.

The above factors can happen. They have happened, and a select few entrepreneurs have harnessed friend relationships to great effect. But, it can backfire just as easily (and more so) due to other contributing factors. Take each of the above aspects of hiring a friend and find the underlying negative.

  • Cheap labor is still cheap labor. It doesn’t offer a great incentive to not pay a fair amount for good work. No matter who it is, one gets what they pay for.
  • Strengths and weaknesses may matter in a friendship, but do they apply as easily in a business arrangement? Joe Doe can be loyal, but is he so when money is involved?
  • A built-in level of trust is an acceptable reason to hire a friend, but trust doesn’t always carry over to business. An entrepreneur needs to trust that their friend can do the job. The person can be a good friend, sure. But, can they inventory product? Can they call the right people? Trust is not universal when it comes to business. An entrepreneur needs to fit trust into the skillsets of their potential hire.
  • It does save time. This may be the only fair argument. But, is it worth it?

There is simply too much baggage to place a lot of stake in this arrangement. Visit for more on this topic. Friends bring issues to the table that would be unlikely to appear if one was hiring a stranger. For one, friends may think they can get away with a lack of professionalism. Disagreements would bleed into social history. The entire idea, as appealing as it is upfront, will often turn into a disaster.