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Published 25 October 2012 04:08, Updated 25 October 2012 08:45
Nicholas Beames has nothing against the idea of starting businesses with other people but he would never start a business with his friends and family.
“I flatly refuse to have family and friends involved in [my] business,” he says. “One rule I live by is that there is a clear separation between business and home life. Family and friends don’t have any place in my business world.”
Beames is the sole founder of astutepayroll.com. He started the business in 2006 but brought-in Marcus Webb in 2008 as a director and shareholder.
At the time, the timesheet and payroll service was turning over about $1 million. Revenue more than doubled last year to $7.5 million.
Beames is chief executive and Webb is the chief technology officer and their relationship as colleagues rather than family members or long-time friends has been important to astutepayroll.com’s ability to grow and adapt to new client demands, Beames says.
“We need to be totally agile as a business so we can turn on a dime if we have to,” he says. “Those types of decisions can have big consequences and I need to make sure that we can make them without fear that it might affect the other side of my life.”
Beames says that keeping family and friends out of a business can also be beneficial when it comes time to sell.
“If we accepted an offer [from someone looking to buy the company] our business would change overnight. If I had family members working in the business what would happen if they suddenly got a new boss? What if their skill set didn’t meet the new needs?
“For some [running a business with family and friends] works. For me, it doesn’t.”
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