Love is amazing! Love can build cities but it can also destroy businesses. If you’re considering starting a company – even if this is your second or side business – with your spouse or significant other, make sure to run through all the potential scenarios and, of course, document the outcomes in order to avoid headaches down the track. There is a lot that can potentially go wrong. Let’s run through some of the scenarios to be well prepared.
In order to be successful together and remain together, you will have to work together and be extremely open to compromise.
To start with, write your future vision. Both of you should write down what you want to accomplish. What are your goals? Where would you like the business to be in five years? When you’re done, share your notes. If your visions are similar, great! If not, you will need to create common objectives for what you want to achieve in the business. It has to be something you can both be inspired and excited about. This is a crucial step and has to be done before even thinking of your business structure or funding.
A couple, who can't compromise on minor issues such as what kind of printer to buy, is going to have difficulty resolving the many problems that will inevitably crop up as the business grows. If you constantly argue about small problems, you might find it almost impossible to decide on partnerships, investments and other crucial business decisions. It is important to set up and regularly review the roles and rules and, of course, follow the rules. Moreover, any business partners, especially couples, will always be ahead of the game if they commit to regularly reviewing their company's performance during the and come up with plans for improvement.
Make sure your children and homework are taken care of. Procrastination and distractions are especially persistent during difficult times. If you are serious about your new venture, arrange a babysitter or childcare facilities, and don’t be distracted while doing business. Even if you’re working from home, you need to separate home from work in order to get your work done.
If you feel like the ship is going down it is easy to just leave the sinking wreck. This might not be the best approach. Therefore, plan your exit strategy before even starting your business. This will save you time, nerves and potentially your relationship.
Money is one of the common causes of divorce. Cash flow tends to be the number one challenge for new businesses. Put some money aside so you don’t need to stress about your bills. Money saved in your personal emergency fund ahead of time will save you from problems later on. Not having to worry about money will definitely help you to get through hard times, which are almost inevitable in any business venture.
Discuss how you both feel about risk taking and criticism. Men and women are incredibly different in how they handle difficult situations. Neither is worse than the other; they’re just different from one another. Misunderstanding or misinterpretation is the last thing you want to go through. Discuss different scenarios and share your feelings about them. Bringing in real life examples can assist in triggering the emotions you would like to work on. Talking to each other honestly and openly will save your business and your relationship.
Deal with it and then drop it is one of the important strategies you will have to adopt in your household if you want to succeed. If something keeps upsetting you and is still unresolved, it will most likely affect your business health in a negative way.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage,” Lao Tzu once said. However, business also requires rationality, patience and well-communicated strategies and planning. As Albert Einstein pointed out, “gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love,” so make sure you have both feet strongly on the ground when entering into a business with your spouse or significant other.