Starting and running a business with your life partner offers some significant benefits and unique challenges. Partnering in business with your spouse, relative or best friend could potentially be the best decision of your life.
Here are ways to determine whether you and your life partner are compatible in business, and whether going into business together is the right decision for you.
Predicting Your Business Relationship
The question is how do you predict which way things will go for you both in business?
It is common for couples to envision a future together in business as an exciting and fun-filled adventure. On the surface, it can even look like a very good business decision. Your spouse is a person you trust, love and are committed to sharing a life with. You share a common vision and many other things. While having trust in your partner and sharing a common vision is fundamental to any business relationship. However, it does not ensure success.
You may believe you know your partner, but do you know what they will be like in business? They may not be the same person in many respects. Couples are usually motivated by love, while business is generally driven by profit goals. These two forces are not always aligned when maintaining a happy, healthy and long-term personal relationship.
Sharing a Common Vision
You may believe you share a common vision, but have you fact-checked that?
Unquestionably, partnering in business with a spouse, relative or friend will put your relationship at stake, so why do couples even take the risk? The fact is that many couples are extremely successful in business together, yet many others end in business and relationship failure.
It is crucial to consider the potential personal and professional effects that could result from going into business together.
Critical Factors for Success
What are the common critical factors that influence a successful outcome?
There are common critical factors that influence the long-term outcome of every couple in business together.
Fundamentally, these factors are: communication, vision, values, style, and ego. I believe that the degree and extent to which these factors appear in the business couple relationship affect the probability of their long-term success. Therefore, it makes good, common business sense to do whatever you can to capitalize on the critical factors that contribute to couples in business success and manage the ones that contribute to failure.
Five Key Business Partner Compatibility Questions:
- How do you maximize the potential of going into business together?
- How do you minimize the risk of going into business together?
- How do you stay true to your shared vision?
- How do you maintain work-life balance?
- What could you do to repair a struggling personal relationship when you are already business partners?
By answering these questions, you can objectively assess your degree of business partner compatibility.
While no one can definitively determine how your relationship will withstand the challenges of becoming co-entrepreneurs, mitigating the common critical factors and using compatibility assessment tools will help minimize the risk of your relationship and business ending poorly.
On the other hand, if you are highly compatible as a couple in business together, knowing, understanding and working with these common critical factors will greatly enhance, support and create greater balance in your business and personal relationship over the long-term.
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