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How Business Is Just Like a Relationship

Article written by Joshua Danton Boyd of Crunch Accounting

One is pleasure and the other is, well, business. In most cases, we make it a point to keep the world we live in with our partners at a safe distance from that of our profession. We lend a listening ear after a long day, but otherwise there’s a distinct separation. Still, there are many similarities between maintaining a relationship and sustaining a business.

While courting has changed over the years, it’s still an integral part of starting a relationship – even if it does sound like a word the Victorians would use. Courting includes everything from seeing someone for the first time, to a first date,and getting and receiving gifts. It finally finishes when the relationship becomes “official.” Of course, it is an easy stage to mess up.

This stage is equivalent to when you first think of a new business idea, and you can’t help but think about it all the time, contemplating the possibilities it will offer. You realize that just thinking about it is a waste of time, you need to start getting things down on paper.

At this stage it can all fall to pieces if you’re not careful. Make sure you’re certain before you commit – note the flaws in your idea rather than glossing over them. Remember, starting a business is a commitment. If the idea won’t hold your interest, your business will not succeed. Is this really what you want?

comparing businesses to relationships courting

The Lovey Dovey Beginnings
In the first stage of your new relationship everything is roses and laughter, and you’re already talking as though you’ll be together forever. It’s an incredibly enjoyable stage to be in, even if it does make all your friends feel a bit sick. While your relationship builds its foundation, the two of you may be overlooking the flaws that may leave you questioning the future.

Business-wise, this is when you’re at your most enthusiastic and positive. Things are starting to gain traction, plans and ideas are filling your mind and you’ve got a feeling that this is going to be your big success. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking, can be blinding.

Even when things seem perfect, you need to view everything critically. Rather than looking at a process and thinking, “Wow, everything is coming together!” look at it and think, “Where is this process flawed?“ To borrow a tired political phrase, you should fix the roof while the sun is shining.

comparing businesses to relationships the beginning
The Rough Patches
Few, if any, relationships are without tough times. It’s a given that people argue, and when it’s with someone you spend a lot of time with it can be over something as simple as an unwashed plate. Other times, the relationship just seems to be on the rocks. The ones that survive are the ones who face these problems head on and get them sorted. If these issues are left to fester, they will always end up emerging later on as an even bigger problem.

Similarly, conflict with employees can instantly turn things sour – this is something that should be resolved quickly. Be sure to show empathy and that you’re taking the complaint seriously. Invest some time in putting procedures in place for employee grievances, getting them fixed and also following up later on. Your workers should know they can always come to you if something is wrong.

There are also positive opportunities to that come with the bumps. They give you a chance to learn for the future and improve your company. As long as everything doesn’t fall apart, you’ll be stronger on the other side. Make a conscious effort to get everything you can out of your problems.

relating business too relationships rough patches
Although hard to envision, happily ever after is attainable
We can never be truly certain of what the future has to hold or where we’ll end up. Businesses can fail and relationships can falter for the most unexpected of reasons.

On the other hand, it could end up being everything you’d ever imagined – just take a look at all of the success stories around us. There’s the old couple, still in love after 50 years who have survived the ups and downs of marriage, and there’s the Fortune 500 companies that started in a garage.

Truth be told, we may not know what the future has to hold, but hard work and passion will always be a push in the right direction.

Joshua Danton Boyd is a copywriter for Crunch Accounting. He also regularly writes for Freelance Advisor.