Saturday, November 27, 2010

Are We Really Good Business Partners?

I've always found that work helps me forget my worries, so I decided to focus on something that I've neglected for a while, my "working with your partner" series.

Last time I posted on this topic we discussed how to judge if going into business with your spouse is a good idea. We focused on a series of questions/potential-conflict areas that would help us judge the suitability of such a decision. I had promised to give my answers to those questions and that's exactly what I'm going to do here.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the list when I decided to embark on this journey with the techie, so my answers may be (a lot) less than perfect. Anyway, I'm taking the plunge now:
  1. Is this what you really want and is it right for you?: The first part of this question is pretty easy. The techie and I have discussed this since the day we got engaged. The desire to go into business together was the one thing we had  in common (probably the only one, till today). With respect to the second part of the question, it seems right most of the time because both of us are excited to face new challenges everyday and we can play devil's advocate without getting personal (well most of the time). 
  2. Why are you starting a business?: We both seem to have the appetite to take on risks and we have a shared dream to help the less fortunate through our social business. 
  3. Who's vision is it?: I'm not ashamed to admit that the vision here is the techie's. I'm more of the getting things done kind of person. However, the vision grew from our desire to start a social business and all the research we put in to determine where there was a market gap.
  4. Are your expectations of work life-balance the same?: We are aware that this is going to be a big part of our lives for the next decade, at a minimum, and have tried to plan our personal life accordingly. In terms of priorities we see eye to eye about 80% of the time, which I think is healthy and partly because we are sharing our life on all fronts.
  5. Map out areas of management and responsibility: Based on our core strengths, experience and qualifications, we have divided up the work-load as - the techie covers marketing, projects (expansion) and IT, while I focus on operations and finance.
  6. Can your relationship handle this arrangement?: This is undoubtedly the toughest question of the lot (we seems to have started with the easiest). Initially, I didn't give this much though since we seemed to be compatible on the big stuff, however, it's not all plain sailing. There are days when I really appreciate the fact that we can complement each other both at home and at work, while on other days divorce seems inevitable (luckily these are few and far apart). 
So those were my two cents on what it takes to work with your spouse. Though I think it's useful to ponder all the above points, you also need to trust your instincts. Do you think we are really good business partners or just good partners? Let me know if there's anything I missed out or  if you need help formulating your answers.


  1. I work with my husband. We seem to work well together.

    Although, I think it also helps that we both had parents who worked together, so after living with those examples ... we now know what *not* to do. Ha!

  2. I think that list - once again - makes it clear I shouldn't go into business with my husband. :-)

  3. Fashion Butter @ you've just given me a great idea, will be getting in touch with you.

    Mwa @ My cousin sister, who runs her own entertainment company feels the same.

  4. Very enlightening tips. I am not sure if i could ever work with mine, but one never knows...;-)

  5. Stacey @ on some days I still think I can't work with the techie and then I remember that I already am :-)

  6. I will shortly be going into business with my hubby. I do hope we can pull it off without killing each other.

  7. Great tip:) At first your ideas/concept may clash, but you both gotta learn which one works best for the business partnership to work, and work for the good of the business too.

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  8. I work with my husband and we go ok. Sometimes we fight, but you do that regardless of if you work together! We focus on our strengths and do different things. And we also make a rule not to talk shop all the time. I really enjoy it.

  9. The Mother @ In my eyes you can pull of anything we new mothers can.

    Olah Momma @ Thank you for following this blog. I love new blogging communities and will definitely check out this one.

    Bigwords @ We really need to learn not to talk "shop" or "baby" all the time. I can't seemed to remember what we used to talk about three years back!


I love hearing from all of you....thanks for letting me know what you think