Protecting Your Work-Life Balance In The Family Business
Starting a family business with a spouse, partner or relative can be a dream come true, provided each party enters the commitment with shared goals and steely determination. Husband-and-wife co-founders of SweepSouth recognised from the very beginning that going into business with relatives requires more than just the determination to realise a dream, but to ensure each member brings complementary skills so if one is confronted with challenges, the other can help overcome them.
Of course, it is not only about ensuring a successful business partnership, but the continued success of the familial relationship. A recent report by Sage interviewed a number of family businesses, and compiled helpful tips for making both aspects of the relationship a success.
As with any long-term, financial venture in life, it is wise to begin with a legal agreement in the event the worse should happen. While some may worry it is an omen that the business will fail, it is simply smart to protect assets and agree where the boundaries lie between one’s business and personal lives. Furthermore, having this protection will help ease tensions and doubts during the tough times.
Husband-and-wife co-founders of Marrakech Food Tours advise taking this even further and to regularly hold open and honest meetings to agree on how to invest in and manage the business. Frequent strategy meetings not only ensure everyone is working towards a single goal, but that everyone understands how their partners are feeling on both a professional and personal front.
Assign everyone’s workspace
Monique Alvarez, who runs her business coaching and marketing consultancy with her husband, understands the importance of trusting one’s partner and refraining from micro-managing. After agreeing where each other’s skills and responsibilities lie, it is crucial to keep to them to prevent tensions and resentment in the relationship.
Equally, partners should be open about their preferred work styles and locations. Sharing a dream and a relationship are admirable, but it doesn’t mean all partners work the same way. If a husband wished to work from home, while the wife works from an office, this is completely natural, as demonstrated by the owners of Shootip. Neither should take offense, but support what best protects the partnership.
Use your shared dream to overcome challenges
Any business faces obstacles, just as any relationship faces tough challenges, and the barrier becomes hazy in family businesses. Legend Diving Lembongan are open about the strain working together can put on a partnership, but are a testament that strong determination and a shared dream will help overcome the difficult moments. Family business owners must make efforts to prioritise their relationship, which includes switching off the computer in the evening, in order to protect their work-life balance and their family well-being.
Complementing one another’s personality and skillset is beneficial to making a person relationship work, and it should not be forgotten in the family business environment. When one partner feels overcome by the hardship of running their own business, it takes the other to remind them why they decided to chase their passion, and why they are stronger doing it together.