Starting a business with your soul mate can turn out to be both the best decision and the worst decision of your life. Studies show that couples typically see significant gains in income. You may have heard people warn against starting a business with family before, but it can work out if you go about things the right way.
You won’t always get along and it won’t always be easy, but when done right you will be both big enough to move past any issues you are facing.
Be on the Same Page
Every successful company with co-founders has everyone in a leadership position on the same page. They may not agree with each other to begin with, but when a decision is made they put their weight behind that decision. If you have one person constantly sniping because their idea wasn’t chosen, this is not the recipe for a healthy business.
A business plan must be a joint vision. At the same time, you can’t have someone who dominates the relationship. Two soul mates must have their influence split right down the visit or it’s going to lead to a power struggle.
It may be sounding hard already, but many businesses can even energize a couple’s relationship. Make sure you have a shared vision before going into business together.
Define What Each Party is Responsible For
A big advantage of having a business partner compared with going it alone is that you can cover for whatever skill gaps you happen to have. At the same time, you can leverage the strengths of each party to create a more well-rounded business.
There are times where your personal and business lives will become blurred. You need to set clear lines between your various responsibilities. Define who is going to do what, and go as far as to write these things down. Don’t be entrepreneurs give yourself real job titles. It may seem pretentious to name yourself the head of a department at this stage, but it can stop a lot of conflict later.
Write your roles and responsibilities down in your business plan. Make sure each party is sticking to what they are actually good at.
Maintain Balance Between Personal and Business
Couples working together will spend most of their time working. It’s often a struggle to maintain a personal and business balance. Couples engaged in romantic relationships may find it difficult to find a clear divide. But successful entrepreneurial couples are able to find this balance. They find that their business activities are reinforcing their romantic relationship, rather than putting strain on it.
It’s no good if you are leaning towards business or personal. If you are monitoring your online reputation on Yelp while you are supposed to be enjoying a date night, you are crossing a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Set clear boundaries between each other.
For example, you may ban any work from the living room and the bedroom.
Be Understanding and Respectful
Going into business with someone you love presents unique challenges that will reveal your true character. It also raises the stakes somewhat because the fates of your business and your relationship are interconnected with each other. Both will collide and the chances are both will collapse if one aspect does.
The only way a couple can thrive in business is to respect each other’s traits. You may not always agree with each other on which direction to go, but the key is to act like reasonable adults. The secret to staying married while starting a business is to resolve disputes politically and diplomatically.
The mark of a successful company isn’t how often you argue it’s how those arguments end.
Can You Perform a Risk Assessment at the Beginning?
With all this in mind, you may be wondering whether you can tell from the beginning whether a business relationship is going to work out for the best or not. The truth is that even the closest couple can go into business with each other and find that it doesn’t work.
You never truly know if a business relationship is going to work out until you actually try it. This may sound like a frightening prospect, but the only course of action is to form a solid business plan and to see how it works. If you aren’t both completely onboard with the idea of forming a business together, you shouldn’t do it.
Do you have any experience with setting up a business with a romantic partner?