Updated: Feb 5, 2019
You have a great idea you want to pursue but...... If that "but" is followed by your partner or spouse not being supportive of your business that could kill a dream before it's even alive. It's important for them to be aligned with your vision, whether they are directly involved in your business or not. I was in a great paying career and decided to walk away to pursue entrepreneurship full time. I had a husband, a 2 year old and at the time living in a very expensive area of Chicago. It was scary to take that leap of faith but I didn't want to take that leap without my husbands full support and blessing. After all, this decision would have an affect on all of us financially and mentally. I took serious thought the best way to bring up my desire for launching a new business. Here are 4 quick tips to help your partner trust what you plan to do so your business idea doesn't get crushed by the person that you deeply love.
Talk His/Her Language
Your first challenge to overcome is to get your spouse to clearly understand your business and why you know it will be successful. As we know, everyone understands in different ways. You want them to believe and lift you up in your new business. How do they understand the best? Visually? If so, you need to paint a picture. Tell a compelling story of how and why you have decided to go on this journey of starting a new business. In talking to your visual spouse, let's use an example of you wanting to start a business focusing on hair loss. "Babe, imagine so many men that experience premature hair loss and feel insecure. Most of the products target older men. Now picture me introducing a brand that caters to younger men that suffer hair loss. Younger men are often overlooked and they experience hair loss at an alarming rate. My packaging will show a young man in his 20's..." You allow a visual learner to clearly see your business.
Are they logical in nature. My husband definitely is and I had to come to him very different than just painting a picture or telling a story. If your spouse/partner is similar, prepare a presentation with stats and data showing why this business would be great to launch. Using the same example of hair loss business, but to a logical partner, "Babe, over 60% of men experience premature hair loss and 85% of the market targets women and men over 50. Wouldn't it be great to capture a share of this market that generates over $500 million in revenue annually." Now you are talking your logical partner's language.
If they communicate best through touch, take them to a store to see what's currently on the market and what you plan to introduce to make it better. You can let them hold samples of your product or for them to try it out to physically experience it for themselves.
Commit to a comfortable amount of start up funds
It's best not to propose that you start a business that would put your family life in financial jeopardy. Talk about a comfortable amount to launch the business and prepare a start up fund plan. Will you bootstrap the business (reinvest the profits back into the business)? Will you do a crowdfunding campaign (get customers to buy before making or delivering the product)? Whichever way you plan to fund the business, I suggest not to disrupt the family funds as much as possible to keep your spouse comfortable... At least starting out until you all see proof of success to be more aggressive. I started my business with about $200 and reinvested the profits back into the business by purchasing more inventory and marketing.
Be Prepared for Objections
They are coming so it's important to be ready. "Why are you wasting time on this idea? We make good money", "How are we going to take care of the kids with you starting a business?", "How can we start a business when we're already deep in debt?" These are common questions your partner may ask. It's a great idea to plan on handling these important questions so your spouse feels secure. It's not always about shooting down your idea. It could be legitimate questions that deserve careful thought and planning.
If you want your spouse to take this business idea seriously, you have to come correct. If you act like you half believe in your idea, it will show. Let them know that this is something that you truly want to birth and mean it.
There is nothing like having your partner/spouse truly believe in you. The road to launching a business is hard and to have a supporting partner is everything. It will be times you will feel like giving up. It will be moments when you will want someone to celebrate your big wins. It will be periods of confusion and doubt. And at the end of the day, your spouse is the one closest to be able to cry and laugh with on this exciting, scary journey of entrepreneurship.
Share this with a family or friend that needs to hear this.