27 Jun Is it a good idea to go into business with your partner?
One Poppy who did shares her experience.
Thinking about starting your own business is both exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time, especially when you’re thinking it might involve your partner. I should know – I did it with my husband, Nathan.
In February this year, we opened the doors of our soft serve ice-cream shop, Good Times, in Sydney’s Potts Point. It was months of sweat, fun, hard work, delicious tasting sessions and yes, a few tears.
Ultimately, going into business with your partner is a decision only you can make together and there is nothing anyone can really say to fully prepare you for the rollercoaster ride that you will both go through if you choose to forge ahead.
However, there were a few good pieces of advice I received from various people that helped manage both the highs and the lows. Here they are, so hopefully they can help you.
Before you decide to even sign on the dotted line to go ahead and start your business you need to make sure that you are both 100% all chips in. If you’re not, then hold off until you are because you both need to put everything on the line, equally sharing the decision to ensure you’re both strong enough to do whatever it takes to make it work. If one of you is at 100% and the other at 70%, the risk is that then when things get tough or go wrong, it’s easier to place blame and say it wasn’t your decision to get into this business.
Make a pact you will not place blame. Leading on from my first point, you have to remember you’re a team. When one of you is struggling, the other needs to step up and help the other through. It might be as simple letting your partner sleep a little longer
because they worked later the night before, so you help cover the morning shift. It could be constantly reassessing the To Do list and sharing priorities between you both. Don’t keep a score card, it’s not about who is doing what. If you’re both in it for the same reasons and you both love each other, then the workload will naturally be fair. If you feel it isn’t, however, then don’t be afraid to speak up and communicate clearly.
Understand that the initial parts of starting a business are tough and often long hours are necessary. It’s important to know that it won’t last forever. The sooner you can put in clear processes and procedures, the sooner you and your partner will be able to hire the right people to work in the businesses whilst you both work on it.
Tag team and get your sleep! Nobody who is sleep deprived is pleasant to be around and they surely aren’t able to make good decisions. Ensure you both are getting enough sleep, that way you can be your best at work as well as when you are with your partner. My number one tip for a perfect night’s rest is to leave your mobile out of your room! You won’t be tempted to lie in bed looking at social media.
Always make time for each other. The one thing I can tell you that really helps keep your relationship healthy whilst getting into business together is to always make time to spend quality time with your partner one on one. It doesn’t matter how busy you get, if you plan your week right you will always find time. I’m not talking about time sitting on the couch watching TV either. I’m talking make time to go out for a nice meal together. Try not to talk about business. Just reconnect on every other level. Make time to be intimate. Yes, you might be tired and it might be the last thing on your mind but once you get started you won’t want to stop. Finally, don’t forget to stop and tell each other what a great job your doing. A simple, “I’m so proud of how much you completed today” can often be all a partner needs to feel inspired enough to get up and do it all again the next day.
If you can get through the first couple of months it tends to get easier. Just never forget to have fun in the process.