The Winklevoss twins are known for their entrepreneurship and success in business, but would it be the same if they weren’t in business together?
Choosing to embark on a new business venture can be a stressful time, but the stress and workload can often be reduced by having a business partner. Having someone who shares in your vision, matches your drive and wants to see your company succeed can make starting a company significantly easier. But after the initial excitement wears off and things begin to get difficult, what happens if you no longer get along? What happens if you don’t like working together? These questions are virtually impossible to answer if you are partnering with someone you only just met. Which is why I suggest that you consider working with a family member. My Mom, also known as my entrepreneurial partner, and I decided to work together for a variety of reasons and haven’t looked back!
I will preface the following by saying that working with a family member isn’t for everyone. Some families, no matter how close they are or how much they love each other, just aren’t meant to work together, and that’s ok. Before picking any business partner, family or not, make sure to take your time and make the right choice. Take some time to consider the following three reasons why I think family members should work together, and see if any of them resonate with you.
You compliment each other.
Everyone has their strong suit and more times than not, family members have different strengths. For instance, my Mom is the the creative, artsy side and I am all about marketing and strategy. We need both sides to run a successful company and we are able to compliment each other’s skills. Chances are, you already know what your family members do well. Take some time to consider whose strengths would compliment your own, and who could help fill a void. This begins with first identifying what you’re good at and what could use some work. It is just as important to recognize your strengths as it is the areas that require improvement. You can then decide if the family member you want to go into business with will compliment or clash with your own strengths.
You get down to the nitty gritty.
When meeting an associate for the first time, you are usually on your very best behavior. You employ your best manners, wear your best clothes, and make use of your multi-syllabic “word-of-the-day”. Everyone does it and it’s not a bad thing. First impressions are crucial and you should always take pride in your appearance and the way you conduct yourself. What I have found over the years is sometimes the urge to impress outshines the actual work you are supposed to be doing. What I mean by this is that if you are too focused on what to wear and how to speak, you may forget about the business itself.
By working with a family member, someone who has known you your whole life, there is no need for the “getting-to-know-each other” period. You are comfortable enough that you can be up front with your opinions and not worry about offending them. Instead of biting your tongue, you can nicely explain why you disagree with their idea or don’t care for their design. This isn’t to say that you are suddenly rude and dress like a slob. All it means is that you can be your true self from the get-go and get down to the nitty gritty right away. It can make for a very efficient and transparent business relationship.
You know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
It usually takes time to learn your business partner’s strengths and weaknesses, especially if you only just met them. It can make working together a little choppy to begin with and you may see your efficiency levels drop. When you work with a family member, on the other hand, you already know everything about them. When tax season comes around and you know that your partner hates accounting, you can step in and pick up the slack instead of waiting to learn they detest numbers. By helping each other out when things are tough, it can also lead to a stronger bond, both personally and professionally.
While not for everyone, having a family member as your business partner can be beneficial to both your personal relationship and your company- a win-win for everyone. No matter who you are considering, make sure you take your time to make the right choice; it can make all the difference in the world.
Have you worked with a family member before? Comment below; I would love to hear about your experience.