This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Starting a Business With a Friend? Here's How to Remain Friends

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Kathy Braddock of braddock + purcell, a real estate consulting firm, says her friendship with co-founder Paul Purcell began 18 years ago when they were simply business acquaintances.

After years of working adjacently in the tough world of real estate and then later as co-workers, where they relied on each other for referrals and advice -- even outside of work hours -- they thought it only natural when they came up with an idea to start a business together.

Braddock says she liked that Purcell's strong work ethic mirrored hers and appreciated his accessibility and good communication skills. Looking back, Braddock says the similarities in work ethic are a major reason why they are successful business partners today.

"He had the same pride in his work and the same ownership [of] his work, working for a company, as I did working for myself. And he was competitive in the same way," she says.

Sharing common interests and career aspirations is one way that friends can be successful at running a business together, but the most important aspect for partners is trust, says Bernhard Schroeder, the director of the Entrepreneurial Management Center at San Diego State University.

"I've watched hundreds of people start companies. When people try to marry up on the capability side, if they don't already super-trust each other, when there's trouble the first thing that happens is they start questioning capabilities and the reason they start questioning is because they don't trust the other one," Schroeder says.

The pair met in 1994. At the time, Braddock had owned the Intrepid New Yorker, which provided relocation services for Fortune 500 companies. Purcell was working for The Corcoran Group, a large real estate firm in New York, as the head of their relocation group.

Over time Purcell moved to Prudential Douglas Elliman where he quickly moved up the corporate ladder, at first heading up the relocation division and later becoming its COO. The two real estate brokers kept in touch and at one point Purcell offered Braddock a job at Douglas Elliman -- his former position -- but she turned him down. A year later he came back to her with a different position as general sales manager, which she finally agreed to in 2000.

With a more corporate job, Braddock now had more time to socialize and was able to get to know Paul outside of work. Braddock considered him to be her closest work-related friend. Eventually they began to talk about going into business together. They thought the market needed services to help consumers pick the right realtor. In 2002, the two friends took the jump and opened braddock + purcell.

Braddock and Purcell have different approaches to their business: Braddock tends to be more direct and quick to make a decision, whereas Purcell likes to take his time thinking through strategies, but the important thing is it works: They've never had a fight.

"We're interchangeable in terms of how we deliver our service," even though our approaches are different, Braddock says.

Another large component to making a friendship a successful business partnership is communication.

"What should be in place is exactly what the business is going to accomplish," Schroeder says. "The more clarity that you have on every step of the way -- how are we funding the business, how are we going to get customers -- all of those things need to be identified by people, so there are no surprises. It's better that you actually have a really realistic conversation ahead of time in terms of what the business could or couldn't do and then go from there."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,001.22 -38.27 -0.22%
S&P 500 1,988.40 -3.97 -0.20%
NASDAQ 4,538.5510 +6.4470 0.14%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs