Starting a business, no matter what situation you may be in, is not an easy task. You may take on a business partner for various reasons – money, brainstorming, etc. – and take the risk of clashing heads at some point because of differences.
Imagine starting a business with your life partner. In this case, more than being business partners, you have your personal relationship to consider. Friends have been known to break up because of money matters. What more with life partners? It wouldn’t be totally surprising if you find yourself needing the services of a divorce lawyerbecause of business issues.
That being said, should you even consider starting a business with your life partner?
Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no.
To begin with, it is crucial that you ask the following questions before you start a business together.
- Do you share the same goal? Why do you want to run a business together? Ideally, you share the same. At the very least, the goals you have complement each other.
- Which will be your priority – the business or the relationship? It is easy to say the latter, but dwell on this question long and hard.
- If you were not partners, would you still want to run a business together – This question helps determine whether your desire to run a business is based only on your relationship or because you really are passionate about starting a business.
Once you’ve answered those questions, and you believe that you can run a business together; then yes, you can go ahead and start a business with your partner.
Here are more tips to help make your business as partners in life a success.
- Have a trial period. Don’t go all out on your business plans immediately. Start with a short-term project that is related to the business you want to run. Let’s say for two weeks to a month. At the end of that period, evaluate how you worked together, what/how you did to achieve your goals, and whether you did achieve those goals. If you did well, then move on to the next point.
- Start working on your actual business. Make a business plan. Hire someone to help you with this if you think you need to. Don’t jump into the waters blindly, but first make sure that you have a market and that you can launch the business without staking all your life savings, and see how it goes.
- Work out your schedule so that you have a healthy work-life balance. This is paramount to having a successful business without putting a strain on your relationship. If you have children, it will be more complicated, but the idea is that you both find a way to handle the business and have time to spend together.
- Identify the decision maker. In a ‘regular’ business, there always is one person who makes the ultimate decision. It should be the same in your case. There will always be times when you agree on a decision, but there will be instances when you are at odds. At this point, emotions may run high, and personal issues may come into play; so before these things happen, establish the pecking order. Agree, from the get-go, where the buck ends.
- Allot alone time. Running a business together means you’ll be spending more time with each other as opposed to working in different companies. As such, both of you will need to schedule some alone time now and then. Do things that you like doing. This will contribute to your overall well-being, resulting in a better work relationship.
Are you ready to start a business with your partner? Good luck!