The thought of starting a business with your significant other may sound like a fantastic idea, and that may well be the case when your business is up and running. However, operating a family business can add a new level of challenges and dynamics, which should be considered before you start your business venture. In this blog post we will provide you with some top tips to take into consideration when preparing to take on the challenge of starting a successful business with your partner.
1. Create a Work-Life Balance
Creating a work-life balance is a priority that needs to be set straight for the sake of both your personal relationship and the business. You should always be walking into work with great synergy and not letting your personal life play any role in your business operation. This will not only benefit you and you partner but will also be inspiring to your team and keep morale high by creating a strong and positive company culture. So, find a routine that works for you both and stick to it.
2. Get an Office as Soon as Possible
We are not advising that you speed off and get an office prematurely, but perhaps to start budgeting for an office or co-working membership. Woking from home may be suitable to begin with, but you should also seek a co-working group to work alongside other entrepreneurs once or twice a week to get out of your home and establish some comradeship. Having this type of space may be a more budget-friendly option to begin with, as well as a potential means to network. Eventually getting an office is advisable, as you can then clearly draw a line between work and home life.
3. Ensure You Both Agree on Your Vision
As is the case with any form of business partnership, you must ensure that you both agree on the vision and bigger picture for your business. Communication is key; if you begin to view things differently then talk about it and keep your business on track to achieve your goals. If there is constant disagreement or a clear difference in your fundamental views on the direction of the business, then you won’t get far.
4. Define Your Roles: Be Clear About Strengths and Weaknesses
You need to set clearly defined roles within your company. Consider writing job descriptions for yourselves and therefore setting clear expectations about who will handle what. It is likely that you will harness different strengths and weakness, so do not try to take on too much as it will only hinder you. Always be clear about your strengths and weaknesses and how you’ll manage them between the two of you. You may be a numbers person, a creative or a people-person – so stick to the role you know suits you best.
5. Balance Praise and Constructive Criticism
It is important to both praise each other as well as provide constructive criticism for the good of the business. The way this needs to be done with your spouse is trying to be kind in both scenarios. This may sound simple but can often be forgotten when you are close to someone. Doing this well will only strengthen your working relationship and allow you both to shine individually within the business.
In addition to this, communicating and motivating each other when times are tough is also important. The support you have for each other on a personal level can be a great addition to a business partnership when you experience problems at a professional level.
6. Seek External Help
If things get a bit too heavy and you are feeling strain or pressure on your partnership, there is no reason not to seek outside help. This may be a business coach, a cleaner or an accountant; whatever it is that you need you can always find some help. Drawing on external resources will ultimately help you to focus your time on your business.
7. Celebrate Goals and Successes
This is a very simple piece of advice, but it is also very valuable and often forgotten. It is so important to celebrate all of your goals and successes as they happen, to remind you both of how well your business is doing and how well you are working as partners.
8. Have an Emergency Fund
Money is an important factor at both a personal and business level. Having a personal emergency fund that you have been building up gradually before you begin your business is a great way relieve the stress that cash flow problems can cause. You do not want to be in a situation as a start-up whereby you are both not taking a salary home, as well as having no money to fall back on.
9. Enjoy Separate Hobbies
No matter how much you love spending time together, spending a lot of long hours working together for the good of your business is always going to add pressure and strain on you as an individual as well on you both as a couple. Therefore, it is important to schedule some time apart. This may be doing a weekly spinning class or joining a book club – whatever it is, it will add balance to your lives and give you both something new to talk about outside of work.
Starting a business with your spouse can be a great foundation for a successful business partnership. It may well be one of the most challenging but rewarding things you do; all that is needed is some patience, flexibility and readjustment. It is likely that there will be both celebrations and frustrations but sharing the success of a common goal with your life partner can be very enjoyable.
If you would like any advice, information or guidance on forming a business, do not hesitate to ask! Call us on 0800 0198 698 or browse our company formation products.