I think we can all agree that business partnerships are generally tricky to navigate. Gosh, so many things have to go just right for the most business partnerships to work. One has to - in most cases, get along with your business partner. There is a need for mutual respect and an equal sense of responsibility for the success of the business. All partners will have to demonstrate a high level of work ethic and posses complementary skills to help launch and run the company.
That being said, it seems like starting a business with folks you are pretty familiar with would help your chances at success. In my experience, I have witnessed most friendships crash and burn when there is a transition to business partnerships. Not to mention the business suffers as well. Why? simple; you typically do not know your friend(s) as well as you may think you do. You typically discover that your friend is not as focused or serious as they led on initially. This discovery can be a big stressor for your personal and professional relationship with your friend.
Studies have shown that it is more plausible to have success in business when you embark on such a goal with a spouse.
Here are 4 reasons why.
1. Common Goals
You will typically share common goals and aspirations with your life partner. This common sense of direction is probably what brought you together in the first place. It is therefore easier to set and work towards long-term and short-term goals with your spouse in business as well. In our business, my wife and I both work equally hard, we talk each day about our goals and our progress.
We specifically outline which of our objectives need to be adjusted and which ones have become outdated. We never have to worry if we are on the same page or not. We started the business because we are on the same page.
2. Mutual Respect
I have been happily married for 5 years and I can say that the most important element of our relationship, the one thing that keeps it going, is our mutual respect for one another. When all else fails, respect will keep you communicating with your spouse in a productive way that leads to issue resolution. I think respect for each other also makes it easier to resolve business disagreements in a way that keeps the business going and ultimately leads to success.
3. A Shared "Why"
A few years ago, I decided to start my insurance consulting firm. I had been thinking about starting a business for as long as I could remember but never actually took the plunge. Around 2010 I felt like the time was right to go for it. I was unemployed and had just moved to a new city, to be honest I had nothing to loose. But before I rented the office space and started actually writing checks to start this venture, I asked my self "why". Why was I doing this? Was it to be successful? Was I running away from the corporate world? which I hated.
I wrote down all the reasons why I wanted to go into business for myself, just so my head was in the right place. The thing about launching a business with your spouse is that you typically have a common "why:. You are typically on the same page as to what either of you ultimately wants from your business.
4. Enhance Your Relationship
Working together with your spouse and growing a business as a team can significantly improve and deepen your bond. When executed correctly it can be one of the most refreshing and fun experiences of your life. You and this special person will get to spend a lot of time together and face life's challenges together. Your spouse will learn from you as you learn from them. You will become comrades and complement each other. It is important to remember to keep your business and personal lives separate as not to cause any unnecessary friction between you two.