Sigi was founded by friends who turned into colleagues, and by staff members who turned into friends. Our friendship is the driving force and the leveling strength in all of our efforts. We don’t think there would ever be a Sigi if it weren’t for our friendship.
How did we know this would work? How are we beating the odds? First of all, we do not tune into these odds because we know by experience that, in our case, these odds don’t apply
But this needs precautions and anticipation. We took some measurements to make sure we jump into the business together with a minimum chance of drowning. Here are some of the steps we took when we decided to start Sigi:
Undo yourself from the assumptions you have as friends.
This is very important, because you cannot uphold the same assumptions in business. From the very beginning, make clear agreements and an SOP of who will be responsible for what and when. Also make an SOP of worst case scenarios. Who will then be doing what, how and when?
Work together on a project before you start a business.
We at Sigi have handled numerous events, workshops and trainings before we even had a Sigi. We know each other’s fortes and we know how to complement each other. Most importantly, we have discovered our rhythm together. This rhythm is crucial, especially in the hustle and bustle of organizing an event. This rhythm will guide and lead, instead of just follow and respond.
Switch on and switch off.
This is an ability that comes natural to us as friends and as business owners. When we are at work, we can switch off the buddy buddy button, and we do not take things personally. There is no such as thing as “baper” in our working relationship. You must be able to take a microscopic look at your friendships, and see if you can make that separation. I can assure you that it would make things at work a lot harder if you bring your friendship issues into the office.
Our professional and unprofessional relationship have enabled us to develop Sigi. Our friendship is a proven asset rather than an assumed liability in starting a business together. Clients are noticing our dynamics, and they even have shown their preference for our “rhythm” in orchestrating their events.
Yes, it is possible. Friends CAN remain friends AND be solid business partners!