We have been working together as Independent Consultants for seven years, overcoming challenges and personal commitments to establish ourselves as National Vice Presidents.
For couples thinking of taking a joint leap into a new business venture, take a read of our top tips on how to establish a successful business model and maintain a happy work/life balance.
- Be flexible and tolerant – two people working together are always going to have their differences when it comes to approaching challenging or thought-provoking situations. At times when you do have differences of opinions, sit down, talk through each one and decide what is best for the business overall. We believe it helps to dissect the pros and cons of each so that a logical conclusion can be reached.
- Play to each other’s strengths – the beauty of being in business with your partner is that you know them better than anyone else and are very aware of their strengths and weaknesses. This means that you can play to each other’s strengths and assign roles within the business based on who would be best for the job; one person may be more process-driven while the other may be more creative. We understand who suits what roles and utilise each other’s expertise.
- Take equal responsibility – both parties need to be all-in and equally responsible, not one more so than the other. Each person needs to be prepared to get their hands dirty and be fully engaged in the business. Having one person leading and one supporting can cause conflict and blame when things don’t quite go to plan.
- Share the vision – having differences in opinion when it comes to the aspirations of the business can certainly cause angst if not managed carefully. We advise that before you go into business together, ensure you’re both on the same page and the future vision is something you both truly believe in. Holding true to shared values is something that will ensure you succeed, no matter what issues arise.
- Be aware of the difficulties – there are sometimes downsides to running a business together, as there are with any professional set up. Work commitments can mean that our timetables clash and family obligations can be problematic to manage. Forward planning helps with this but it’s also important to know when to switch off and spend time together as a family, away from the day-to-day grind.
- Keep it simple – one question that comes up a lot is around what kind of business entity you should start with. We always advise to start off as a partnership; you will then naturally grow into a limited company. Human beings have a habit of complicating things; don’t expect to know everything all at once - develop and grow together.
- Have fun – the best thing about working as a couple is that you get to experience all the high points and achievements together. We find it very fulfilling to work on exciting projects together that we know will ultimately build our brand. There will of course be road bumps along the way, but if you can work effectively as a team and have fun, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful business.
By Karyl and Chris Iles, Arbonne