As a successful small business we've learned an awful lot on the journey, and every day we use what we've learned to help others. It's our job to help make your job easier. This time around we're going to look at harnessing the power of 'couples counselling' style coaching to cement a new business partnership and help drive your new business in the right direction.
How well do you know your business partner?
Are you thinking about setting up a business with a friend or acquaintance? How well do you actually know that person in a business context? In a competitive world where half the business battle is won thanks to rock solid working relationships, it's important to get it right from the start.
If you're the least bit concerned about the way you'll work together, collaborate and divide up the responsibilities, you could always arrange coaching sessions to harness the considerable power of the techniques used in couples counselling. Here's some insight into how, why and what you can achieve from the experience.
What is the starting point for discussions?
You first goal? To establish exactly what everyone concerned wants to get out of the business. Discuss your ambitions together with your coach – either via Skype or face to face – and you'll find having an objective third party on board to drive the conversation makes it less about your individual wants and needs, and more about building a great business partnership. That's the focus you're looking for.
Tackling issues before they become problems
The techniques used by relationship counsellors really can make business partnerships flourish. Yes, you will probably end up baring your innermost thoughts and fears to each other and your coach. But in situations where business partners have very different approaches to life, the universe and everything, teasing out issues before they become problems can be a huge help, and allows you to pool your strengths to your bottom line's benefit.
Handling disagreements positively
What happens if you don't agree 100% with your business partner's views? It can be tricky without a counsellor at the helm, and things can get emotional, but with someone neutral on board you learn how to discuss issues calmly and make mutually beneficial business decisions.
A good coach will also help you find positive ways to deal with difficult situations and questions about the partnership itself. And they'll also help give both parties the confidence they need to speak out calmly and clearly, expressing themselves in a way that'll have positive rather than catastrophic results. You can explore together what it means to disagree, and how you'll handle certain types of situation effectively. And you can plan effective ways to avoid problems.
Avoiding the blame game
Blame and criticism are never helpful, no matter what kind of relationship you're in. With a coach's help you can work closely together to formulate a workable plan that'll suit both of you. You'll learn to recognise the importance of being flexible rather than getting locked into doing a particular role in a particular way, and you'll enjoy the benefits of checking in with each other about how you do your work. Plus, last but not least, you'll learn not to make assumptions about what your business partner wants.
At the end of the day it's just as important to work on your business partnership as it is to work on the business itself. Your organisation is, after all, nothing without the people who run it - just an office, a few gadgets and a bunch of files.
You could go as far as saying the relationship with your business partner is the most important business relationship of all. Every hour you invest in developing that all-important relationship is an hour well spent.
To find out more about how Sussex Business Bureau can help contact us on 01273 44711