When selecting a partner for your HVACR business, it’s important to find someone who is not only business savvy, but someone you can trust and has your complete confidence. Many potential business owners turn to the people they are closest to — friends, family or even their spouse.
Eleven years ago, my husband popped the magic question that changed our lives forever, “Will you buy an HVACR business with me?” I love my husband and I love a good challenge, so of course I said yes!
As new business partners, we made a commitment to put everything we had into our new business to make it successful. Yet, we knew our commitment to each other and to our marriage would always come first. The ultimate goal was that by being business partners, it would bring us closer together, not tear us apart.
We started with a strategy that included setting some guidelines and rules to keep our partnership as professional as any other business partnership. These guidelines have strengthened our business partnership as well as our marriage.
Regardless of our relationship, we run a business together and we’re devoted to a high level of professionalism at work. We dress professional, we speak professional and we act professional — just like we would if we were working for someone else or if we were partners with someone else.
Of course, we have personal issues and items that need to be addressed in our marriage and family, but the office is not the time or place to discuss family matters. When we’re at work, we stay focused on work and save our personal discussions for later.
My husband and I have four children, and when mom says no, sometimes they go ask dad. What my children have learned is that mom and dad are on the same team. So the answer is still no.
Likewise, when our employees come to us with a question or issue, it’s important for us to be on the same page. Even if I don’t completely agree with my husband’s decision, I back him up until we can further discuss the issue. When we do discuss it, it’s done in private — not in front of the team. We cannot show any cracks in our partnership.
Build Each Other Up
When you work with (and in some cases, live with) someone every day, you become familiar with his/her strengths and weaknesses. Your partner has a lot of great abilities and attributes. You know this because YOU chose him/her to be your partner!
It’s easy to find fault, but it doesn’t do anyone any good. Acknowledge and compliment their strengths, their great qualities and the good they bring to your business. Even more important, compliment them in front of your team.
It feels great when my husband tells the team that a marketing campaign I did was a slam-dunk. Likewise, I love my husband’s vision for our company and I make sure to share that with my team. I look for opportunities in meetings, emails and in conversation with my team to acknowledge him, his great ideas and strong leadership skills.
It’s not easy owning and growing an HVACR business, but it sure is a lot more fun and rewarding when you have someone you love and trust to do it with. Our business is stronger and better because of the different strengths and talents we each bring to the company.
The professional guidelines we put in place to run our business has helped us have a solid business partnership — and an even better marriage.