Mixing Love & Business

We found this interesting article via Constant Contact & thought we would share...

Making the decision to become your own boss is as much a lifestyle choice as it is a career decision. Starting and growing a business requires a major commitment of time and resources if you want to succeed. Because the business consumes so much of your life, it’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to involve a spouse, domestic partner, significant other, or love interest in their business endeavors — giving the phrase ‘married to your work’ an entirely new meaning. But combing love and business can be a formula for disaster if you aren’t careful.
Here are 5 tips to help you manage love in your small business:
1. Define the roles. Establish areas of responsibility for each of you. Leverage each other’s strengths, and determine a decision-making process. There will be some decisions that will require both of you to be involved, but when it comes to day-to-day operational issues, you should each have the authority to make decisions in your specific areas.
2. Share the vision. Before you jump into a new business together, make sure you have a shared vision of what you want the business to become. Hash out any disagreements about the strategic direction of the business up front. Also, make certain you share the same core values. A disagreement regarding the vision and/or values of your business after several years of operations, could easily lead to disaster.
3. Leave emotional baggage at home, and work at the office. Because you’ll be working together and living together, you should establish boundaries. Your personal baggage needs to stay at home, and you need to agree to turn work off at some point so you can enjoy a personal life together. Some couples who work together find unique “off-work” activities, such as taking a ballroom dancing class, as a good way to switch gears. My husband and I agreed we could work as long and hard as we liked during the week, but we needed to establish sacred personal time during the weekend to spend time with family and friends.
4. Have a sense of humor. Having a good sense of humor is a critical element for success when you work with your spouse or significant other. Unfortunately, we all say things to our loved ones that we wouldn’t say to another business associate, so watch your tongue. But also, be willing to lighten up and laugh when things get too intense.
5. Choose a third-party decision maker. Regardless of how well you plan your business relationship, inevitability there are going to be times when you simply can’t agree and the business is put at risk. Before you reach that point, choose a third-party decision maker. It should be someone you both respect, but who isn’t closer to one of you than the other. It might be your CPA, attorney, or financial advisor. Agree to abide by whatever decision he or she ultimately makes in order to keep your business healthy and moving in the right direction.
For entire article go HERE.

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