Busi­ness cou­ples must set some rules

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CAREERS - Janita Singh

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.

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