Spouses, as business partners? How do they handle the domestic and business responsibilities? What are the success mantras for couple to succeed, in both personal and business life?
Sam and Zoya have been married for more than fifteen years and have been running a successful business for the last seven.
"Luckily, my husband is my business partner as well as my life partner, so I never had to do the heavy lifting alone, literally or figuratively."-Josie Maran
I get a lot of funny reactions when I tell people I own a business with my husband. From the quick “I could never” paired with a dramatic eye roll, to a wondrous “What is that like?” uttered in disbelief, to “awwwwwww”—and everything in between.
Generally it is believed that opposites attract. A successful marriage is dependent on trust, managing ego, mutual respect, and accepting each other’s idiosyncrasies. These are the same criteria’ that are required to run a successful business.
Sam and Zoya were classmates in an Ivy League B- school before their marriage. They had intellectual compatibility. They complemented each other and whenever they participated in any event on the campus, together, the outcome was successful.
Sam and Zoya landed lucrative jobs in the same city after graduation. They worked for about seven years. The seven year-itch set-in. I am not talking about their marriage. They wanted to be on their own. With that in view they built a safety net to meet two years family expenses and any eventuality.
Based on their corporate experience, they felt there was an opportunity in the field of executive training especially in sales. They business was in the area of training executives in presentation skills.
From the very beginning , Sam and Zoya had role clarity. Sam looked after delivery, content development and marketing. Zoya managed finance, operations and HR. Strategic decisions were jointly taken and both were equal partners.
Zoya quit her job first and managed the business from home for about a year. The business took off well which gave confidence for Sam to exit the corporate world..
The couple set up a brick and mortar office and during the second year had 100 employees mainly to identify clients through cold calling and marketing their training CD. Sam also conducted sales training for his previous employers to supplement the revenue.
1.Retaining employees was a challenge.
2.Personal time spent on training executives limited the focus on growing the business.
3.The services of logistic company delivering CD was not satisfactory both in terms delivery time and in collecting payment Zoya had to waste a lot of her time in following up, as clients were dissatisfied with the delivery commitment.
4.The building rentals too, were sky rocketing.
The couple decided to close the brick and mortar business and get into online business. The core of the business “effective presentation skills” still remained the same.
The time was also ripe as e- learning tools were becoming popular globally. This model would also help them to globalize their business.
They, again, started working from home.
The business took one year to stabilize as the skill sets required for online business marketing were different. The couple had to unlearn, to relearn the critical success factors required for online business.
The business has grown substantially and their focus is still on effective presentation.
1.Sam and Zoya are having their cake and eating it too.
2. Working from home has given them flexibility in terms of work schedules;
3. Online business model does not require their physical presence and earns them money even when they are on vacation.