If you do hire them the question is: Do you want to keep them as friends?
Just kidding. While it’s common knowledge that you should never do business with friends, with the right approach you can make it work. Maybe you’re flooded with work and could use a virtual assistant or sub-contractor help with some research. Although hiring your friend can be a little tricky, you don’t have to rule it out entirely. Here are some pointers on making it work:
Draft an Agreement
While it can be awkward, you’ll thank yourself later. Just like how you’ll need to create an agreement with a new client, you’ll want to draft an agreement before having your friend work for you. Include the basics such as a job title, terms, rates, and an NDA. Spend some time going over it to see if your friend has any questions and is comfortable with the arrangement.
Creating an agreement is also a good way to see how you both feel about having a business arrangement with your friend. It sets the tone for your working relationship. Make sure this is something you are both up for without stifling your friendship.
Turn It Into a Mentorship
While not required by any means, turning it into more of a mentorship could make it a more enriching experience for the both of you. Is your friend trying to get more experience with freelance writing or starting their own business?
While some of the tasks you’ve assigned them is grunt work, they can learn the ins and outs of what you do. You can also teach them basics on setting rates, landing clients, and how to stay on top of trends in your industry. And if you’re compelled to, you can give them leads on job leads, and potentially recommend them to clients when the opportunity arises.
Consider Your Dynamic
Have you and your friend worked together in the past? If so, was one person in charge, or was it more of a collaborative effort? Does one person in the friendship tend to be a little more dominant than the other?
While you have a friend who is completely qualified and available to take on work you need help with, it may not be a good match if the dynamic isn’t a good fit. For instance, if your friend is used to being in charge they might not acclimate well to working for you.
You might be better off hiring a virtual assistant through a site such as UpWork or Freelancer. If you have any reservations, try sussing things out beforehand and make it clear what your expectations. You can also try doing a trial run or a one-off assignment before committing to something long-term.
While it makes perfect sense why you might have reservations about hiring a friend, taking a few precautions and setting a few things in place could turn it situation that’s beneficial for all parties involved.