Business couples must set some rules
IF YOU and your romantic partner have a great idea and share an entrepreneurial drive, you might think launching a start-up together is the perfect way to merge your personal and professional lives.
But lovebirds, be warned. Going into business with a significant other may not be exactly what you’re expecting, say entrepreneurial couple Brett and Meagan Redelman.
The couple, who have young twins, left their corporate jobs to establish their own company Redsbaby Prams in 2013. They say just as couples need to sit and discuss issues in their personal life, certain ground rules need to be established before going into business together.
You really have to be in the right mindset to work together, Meagan says.
“Unless you’ve worked for a start-up business before, you have no idea what you’re getting into and it’s almost impossible to know until you’ve lived it,” she says.
“The work is hard and risks high … we learnt a lot about the business as it progressed and evolved.”
The couple have a few survival tips to keep your entrepreneurial venture and relationship on track: Talk openly: Talk candidly about your expectations so if something goes wrong, both sides can get involved or walk away (from the business) without damaging your personal relationship. Divide and conquer: “We both have very independent areas of the business that we look after, however work as a team to ensure all the cogs turn,’’ Brett says.
“The problems come when there is too much overlap on a particular function of the business and when this occurs, we decide who manages and who steps away.’’ Keep personal and business issues separate: There are going to be times when a business dilemma makes its way to your dinner table or when a personal disagreement follows you to the office.
“Its about balance. Have work, home and me modes. At work, focus on the professional environment. Work from home some days while one of you goes to the office,” Meagan says.
Ensure work is not the topic of all conversations. Make time for your relationship: Allocate weekly time to ‘switch off’ and spend valuable time with family doing things important to you. Keep friends and have hobbies. Understand what you’re getting into: Entrepreneurship isn’t a 9-to-5 job. A couple going into business needs to realise the work and time it entails. For more details: redsbaby.com.au
Brett and Meagan Redelman say balance is key for couples who run a business together.