Ok, maybe enemies are not the logical choice as business partners, but sometimes it can be easier than doing business with friends.
Going into business with friends always sounds like a great idea. You would get to work with someone you like, have fun and bounce ideas off one another. However, going into a business with a friend opens up complex and sometimes conflicting personality traits and viewpoints.
Before you go into business with a friend, make sure you hash out all the important details, like who is going to contribute how much money and what assets to the business, how much of the business each person owns, what happens if there is a disagreement or someone wants to leave the business. Thinking about these things before doing business or setting one up can save you a lot of headaches down the road and prevent you from wishing you did business with your enemies instead!
I know a large number of people who sells goods on Etsy. I myself love Etsy and there are some amazing finds on there. For the casual hobbyist, Etsy is a great outlet to get your products out into the world quickly and cheaply. However, if one really wants to grow a product based business, just having an Etsy site is not enough.
1) buy your own domain name. Even if you put up a basic website directing others to buy at your Etsy site, this ensures you are in control of your brand name and presence on the web and have a back up website if Etsy were to ever take your page down;
2) back up all of your product photos and copy offline;
3) keep records of your sales offline and ask your customers to join your email lists so that you retain your customer lists.
Etsy is a fabulous site with lots of good products, but it's just one tool for a small product manufacturer or seller. Make sure you always own the rights to your own business aspects, from a domain name to your customer lists.
I am so excited to bring my small business law practice to Manayunk! I am also the owner of Petit Gourmand, a brand new kitchen boutique in Manayunk, so I know first-hand the challenges of opening a new brick + mortar business in Philadelphia. I'm here to help the small business owners of Manayunk and beyond, whether it's with a lease review, drafting a contract, writing a will or helping to hire employees, please drop me a line or come see me in my first floor shop anytime!
Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way.