Should I go into business with my friends or family?

We’ve long been advised not to mix business and pleasure but working with someone you know and love can bring distinct benefits. Here, Sarah Williams of arts consultancy Soho Curious & Co explores the pros and cons

Having worked across advertising, photography and the arts, I have encountered many business partners who not only work together but who are also friends, or even related. This closeness means they can bounce off each other and work in a symbiotic way where one can seemingly finish off the other’s sentences. As the sole founder of my own company, Soho Curious & Co, there have been countless times where I’ve wished I had a trusted friend to talk through a business problem with. To work with someone so close must come with its downsides though. None of us are angels. Are there furious feuds and terrible habits or is it all just dreamy?

Armed with a load of questions and my own curiosity, I spoke to a few people who’ve taken the leap – friends Skye Trayler and George Corbin from photographic agency Trayler & Trayler; brothers George and Henry Graham, who founded multi-channel retailer Wolf & Badger; partners Niko Dafkos and Paul Firmin, who started the multi-sensorial candle boutique Earl of East; and best friends and photographers Gabrielle Hall and Mercedes Workman from Babe Studio.

Here’s what I learnt from our conversations on surviving business with a loved one.