Small towns all over America were built from the ground up with the help of small businesses. Since the early 20th century, mom-and-pop shops opened up all over the country. Decades later, couples and families are still going into business together so they can control their own working conditions, hours, and finances. But before anyone proudly takes on the challenge of running a successful business, consider what lifestyle adjustments will be necessary.
Before anyone goes creating business cards or LinkedIn pages, make sure that everyone is equally committed to the business and is serious about committing to success. If it’s just you and your spouse, write your company’s vision statement together. If a few family members are involved, everybody needs to agree on the aims of their efforts. Otherwise, the business will never get off the ground.
Along with strong company ethics, respect for one another is essential to boosting business. The operations behind the scenes always reflect in the work that’s put out by the workers. So if someone is feeling mistreated, your business is not living up to it’s full potential (especially a business run by only a couple). To keep harsh feelings at bay, maintain a balanced and separate work and personal life. Know the difference between issues stemmed from business problems and issues stemmed from personal problems.
Another way to keep spirits high is to play to everyone’s talents. Speaking as a former unhappy employee of a large corporation, no one wants to feel like their energy and time is being wasted, or that their ideas are not valued. If there is passion behind the work, running the business becomes second nature. Divide all the business responsibilities among the partners so no one feels overwhelmed. The last thing the business (and family) needs is for one person to feel as though the entire work-load was forced upon them.
The decision to open a business shouldn’t be taken lightly. The start-up expenses alone are enough for some couples to rule the idea out entirely. There is always a risk to business, and that risk is more manageable when you have a financial cushion. Couples wanting to work together could either apply for a loan, or save up enough cash to cover the costs. Either way, have a clear, agreed-upon business plan before spending any money.
Running a successful business takes knowledge and skill, but bringing in loved ones takes courage. But years worth of small businesses all over the country prove that it’s possible to have it all: financial freedom, a close family, and a long life. Family-owned businesses are the American dream; shouldn’t you consider being apart of history?