When someone is devoted to his or her work with long hours, it is often said that they are married to their job. In Funke’s case, she is married to her job and business partner, Shola. They have been married for ten years, and have been running a financial services company for seven years. While this type of partnership may not work for everybody, it is not unusual to find couples who are business partners. Here are some tips to help you manage a business venture with your spouse:
Honesty is Key
Your strength and weaknesses must be known and embraced. It is imperative for partners to complement each other and understand their strong points. Although Funke is detail-oriented with a specialty in spreadsheets, business plans and timelines, Shola on the other hand is a visionary who focuses on the big picture. He generates the ideas while she designs the plans to execute them. It is a near-perfect balance of attitude and aptitude, with neither of them thinking they are better or more valuable than the other. Being married instills an instinctive level of trust in their work relationship – it is the oil that keeps the company running without friction. However, the high momentum of trust in their business partnership didn’t occur overnight, they invested time in their personal relationship which transcends to their business.
Teamwork is Paramount to Success
When managing a business with your spouse, it is important for both of you to move at the same speed and stick together when making major decisions that affect the business. By supporting each other during the growth period of the business, a lot of issues, which may arise, are eliminated. In 2015, Funke and Shola decided to expand their business with the plan to set up new offices in at least three other cities outside Lagos, where the head office was situated. This was a pretty crazy feat by any measure and a true test of their ability to work with each other and succeed together. All through the process, they maintained constant and detailed communication about everything regarding the business expansion.
The Business is an Extension of Your Marriage
Take your business as an extension of your marriage because marriage itself is a partnership. You can’t succeed without compromise because it involves a lot of giving and taking. Some of the benefits of working together as a couple is the opportunity to learn even more about each other. Whilst Funke says, ‘We are constantly learning new things about each other which helps to further enhance our family life.’ Shola adds, ‘Funke knows I will have a game plan in mind for the family because I am always prepared with ideas for the business’.
Everybody has a unique style that must be accepted and leveraged to make any partnership work. Since they have built their personal and professional lives together, learning about and encouraging each other has not only enabled them to build a healthy relationship but also a business that has a positive impact on the society.
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