Perhaps you are considering starting a business with your partner and you don’t know where to start. There are many factors that go into owning and operating a business, and so it is important that both you and your partner understand all of the requirements that are involved in starting a business, before you dive in. This article will explore the first steps that you and your partner should take in order to successfully start a business as a couple.
1. Decide What Type of Business You Will Launch
If you want to successfully start a business as a couple, picking the right type of business is crucial. First, consider your skills and experience. It is also important to consider how you complement one another in a working relationship, which may ultimately differ from how you interact in your relationship as a couple.
Beyond taking into consideration skills and experience, you and your partner should also think about what you are both passionate about. Your business is much more likely to succeed when you are both passionate about the work you’re doing. If, for example, you are highly enthusiastic about your business and your partner is not, you will likely carry the bulk of the weight when it comes to growing and maintaining your business’s success. As such, combining you and your partner’s passions and interests are other important factors that you should consider when trying to pick the right business.
Finally, consider what you and your partner are able and willing to dedicate to the business— whether it pertains to the physical demands of operating business or the time commitment. While some businesses are more hands-on and require you to be physically present, some businesses offer greater flexibility in terms of when and where you can do work. So, it is necessary to factor in physical demands and time commitments when picking a business.
2. Decide the Roles and Responsibilities You Will Share
You and your partner should also discuss how you will divide the roles and responsibilities involved with owning and operating a business. The best way to start this process is to make a simple list of all of the business management needs that you foresee your business will have. The most common management needs for any business typically include:
- General Management
- Legal Compliance
This list of management needs may look somewhat different depending on the industry that you decide to pursue. Nevertheless, these common needs serve as a good starting point for helping you and your partner determine what roles and responsibilities need to be addressed order to make your business a success.
After you determine the key roles that are needed in your specific business, it’s a good idea to discuss what those roles will entail, as well as what your expectations are for those roles. It is common practice to also create descriptions in writing of every role and responsibility. This will help ensure that both you and your partner are held accountable for the roles and responsibilities that you commit to fulfilling.
After you and your partner have finalized each role and responsibility, you can discuss who will do what. Consider personality traits, experiences, skills, and preferences when delegating tasks. By doing so, you and your partner will ensure that roles and responsibilities are split appropriately. This will help both of you feel more confident in the work that you are held responsible for completing.
3. Make the Business Legal
Before you officially start operating your business, you also need to make sure that your business is legally licensed to operate. Depending on what you and your partner determine is best for your business, you will need to settle on type of business ownership (e.g. Limited Liability Company (LLC), S Corporation (S-Corp), or a C Corporation (C-Corp). Once that is done, the next step is to register your business’s name to protect it at the state and federal level.
This may also involve registering your business’s web address as well. Next, you need to apply for a Federal Tax ID Number and complete other necessary tax-related business requirements. Finally, you need to acquire relevant business permits, licenses, and insurances.
4. Decide How You’re Going to Fund the Business
When determining how you and your partner are going to fund your business, it is important to consider the extent to which you are both willing to self-fund, rely on investors, and rely on loans. While businesses are typically funded through some combination of the aforementioned sources, how funding is acquired is ultimately up to the discretion of you and your partner. Whether you decide that you would prefer to self-fund your business as much as possible or you want to rely on investors and loans, it is important that you and your partner are in mutual agreement about how you will fund the business.
5. Start Marketing
One of the best ways to start marketing, especially for a new business, is to harness the power of the internet. Creating a website is one popular strategy that all businesses use to market their products and services. Also, creating social media accounts on various platforms is another great way to expand your reach and promote your new business.
If you also incorporate traditional marketing strategies, such as passing out business cards and flyers, you can include coupons or incentives to increase your chances of attracting new customers to your business. Fortunately, there are a variety of popular and effective strategies for marketing your business. So long as you and your partner have determined a shared vision and clear plan of action for marketing, your business will surely begin to take off.
When starting a business as a couple, one of the most important things that you can do to ensure your business’s success is to communicate. Regardless of what type of business you launch, the roles and responsibilities that are involved, or even how you decide to fund your business, every decision should be mutually agreed upon by you and your partner. In addition to ensuring that you and your partner have a shared vision and common goals, it is critical that you follow through on the legal requirements and marketing strategies needed to legitimize your business and allow it to grow.
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