Nothing personal: how to build a business with your husband and not divorce

What is a family business?

A new bill has been published on the portal of regulatory legal acts, which introduces the concept of “family business”.

A family enterprise is a small or medium-sized business that meets at least one of the conditions:

  • For legal entities, members of one family must own in total more than 50% of shares in the authorized capital of an LLC or 50% of shares in a JSC, and one of the family members must be the sole executive body of such legal entity, or the chairman of the board of directors.
  • For consumer cooperatives or peasant (farm) households, at least 50% of employees must be family members.
  • For individual entrepreneurs, at least 50% of employees must work at the main place of work of the individual entrepreneur and belong to his family members.

At the same time, the bill says that family members are not only children, husband or wife. These are also the parents of the spouses, brothers, sisters, grandchildren, grandparents of each of the spouses, brothers and sisters of the parents of each of the spouses, adoptive parents, adopted children.

Why separate the family business?

As stated in the draft law, in order for this separate category of business in the future to receive specialized support from the state. A record will appear in the unified register of SMEs posted on the FTS website that the SME is classified as a family enterprise.

At the moment, any other bonuses for family entrepreneurs are no longer prescribed. In my opinion, the task now is simply to see how many such enterprises are in Russia.

Perhaps some perks and bonuses will appear later. For example, it was proposed to exempt members of the same family working together from reporting to each other.

What about family businesses abroad?

In Russia, such a category as a family business has not legally existed until now. At the same time, the family business can rightfully be called the backbone of the European economy. The peculiarity of family businesses is that they are focused on long-term work, responsibility, on the transfer of business from generation to generation, on the education of new generations of entrepreneurs, and they can better take into account regional characteristics when selling goods and providing services. According to the European Federation of Family Businesses, family businesses account for 65 to 80% of all European companies, averaging 40 to 50% of all jobs. The largest number of family businesses are in Estonia, Slovakia and Cyprus - they account for 90% of all registered businesses.

Family business is the foundation of family well-being. For many centuries, traders, merchants and usurers tried to establish their own business, which later passed on to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. At the same time, almost all family members were involved in business development: wives, brothers and sisters. And such a routine was quite successful: when a person or a married couple invests their finances, energy, time and other resources in the development of the company, then they want to give the business not to someone else, but to a person who is dear by blood.

Despite the fact that a family business is a thoughtful and competent contribution to the future of your family, it is not so easy to build it. In the past few decades, it is especially common to find companies that are owned by two spouses or blood relatives. For example, Mark Zuckerberg introduced his sister to the global Facebook empire, putting her in charge of the marketing department, and Lee Kun-Hee helped his father turn the Samsung Group into a multinational giant.

However, another distinctive feature of this type of business is family problems. Let's remember the once largest brewing company STRO. For a century and a half, a married couple of immigrants have become one of the most powerful business dynasties, but now all the company's successes are in the past. And all because of the wrong management model: it seems that at some stage the heirs of the family business could not agree and come to a common opinion.

How to make the business of the whole family profitable, constantly developing and increasing capital over the years? What to look for and what to avoid if your spouse, brother or uncle is a partner? For this, there are several important principles, observing which you will be able to create not just a small business, but an entire empire.

Agree on shore rules

Before starting a family business, all negativity and conflicts between partners must be eliminated. If in ordinary life the relationship does not go well, then it is not worth working together. First you need to deal with personal issues, and then think about a joint business. Otherwise, all quarrels and conflicts will be carried over to work and back in a circle.

If you open a business with your husband, then you must understand that communication with him will be constant. In ordinary life, most often spouses see each other in the morning, evening and weekend. The rest of the time, this is a rare online connection. Joint business is a completely different story. It is very difficult! If you are a sociopath, your ideal work environment would be a quiet, peaceful place alone.

Now let's simulate a situation where a sociopath has to constantly work with a spouse, see him every day and solve current issues. It's hard, isn't it? In this case, it will be difficult for both partners to find a common language, therefore, initially it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of each other and develop a system where everyone will be satisfied with the working conditions. This will make the overall work much more efficient and maximally eliminate the possibility of unwanted conflicts.

Whatever the ideal relationship outside of business, skirmishes over teamwork will unambiguously arise. As a result, the number of minor disputes and omissions increases tenfold.

Trust is something you shouldn't start without. If you cannot rely on a partner in any situation and not worry about the timing and quality of the work performed, then it is better not to start working together. You should focus on the business and its development, and not only think that you yourself could do something better than your partner and control his actions unnecessarily.

Understand who is in charge

Still “on the shore” try to distribute responsibilities between each other: who is responsible for what, who is the boss, who is the subordinate? If the family is the main husband, and at work the spouse is subordinate to the wife, then a conflict of interest is inevitable. Develop your own system of work. For example, when one is in negotiations, the other can address the current important points.

The money issue is perhaps one of the most important. Indicate at once who gets money and for what services. You can pay each other a salary, but strictly define the distribution of profits, otherwise financial issues will arise that you do not need at all. This question will surely become an edge sooner or later. Agree, it is unfair if someone will count money and plan work, while the other will fulfill orders, look for clients and develop new directions.

Family business is very common in the USA and European countries. For example, in the United States, family businesses employ nearly two-thirds of all workers, and their contribution to the gross domestic product is more than 65%, the annual income of such firms is more than $ 2 billion. In Russia, this type of company is only gaining momentum. This is not surprising, because the opportunity to engage in entrepreneurship has appeared relatively recently. Let's see what you need to know in order to successfully run a family business, what advantages, disadvantages, and features it has.

Family Business Today What You Need to Know?

  • It is necessary that every relative understands that he is working not only for the financial prosperity of the family, but also for the sake of “family reputation”, “image”.
  • The authority of the person who started the family business must be very high. If a person who is inert and lack of initiative in real life plans to take over the management of the family business, then nothing good will come of it.
  • Do not overload your relatives with work beyond measure, just because they are relatives and will not be able to refuse you. The balance of work and rest must be respected.
  • Also, there is no need to try to pay less or "hang" on a relative additional duties not from his area.
  • Control and attention in a family business should be even greater than in a regular business.
  • The rules within the company must be strict, sometimes much tougher than in ordinary business.
  • It is advisable not to rely only on connections within the family, but also to make useful contacts outside the family circle.
  • It is necessary to separate the family business created from scratch and the business inherited. In the first case, the family business goes through all the stages of the establishment of the enterprise. In the second case, there is a possibility that the heir will not be able to manage the case, if he did not specifically study this.
  • Hiring "each and every" of the relatives is also not worth it. Places should be received by those people from relatives who at least slightly correspond to the vacant position.
  • Some of the employees can also be shareholders, this will help them feel more responsible, and this option is safer than with “outside” shareholders.
  • Sometimes a relative needs to work for someone else's company on a similar topic to gain experience. This will prevent the company from wasting time and resources on practical training.
  • It is highly desirable to hold regular meetings to discuss all matters and matters.
  • Charity helps family members to unite.
  • When to Apply the Family Business Model

    When you have limited payroll funds, you can hire relatives or friends. People will not work for money, but to help you. Sometimes relatives, especially close ones, may agree to work even for free, if in the future they see benefits for the family as a whole, for example, the transfer of the earned money to common heirs. It is true that such "free" work should not be abused.

    As a rule, you have already studied your relatives well, you know their strengths and weaknesses. This will save you from resentment and disappointment when you find out the real character of the employee, and not only the bright side that he was able to demonstrate to you at the interview.

    The pros of a family business

    The family business has many positive aspects, and it is they that inspire many to create an enterprise together with relatives.

    Cons of a family business

    However, if you have decided to start a family business, you should know not only its advantages, but also its disadvantages. Negative features of this kind of enterprise are also present, and sometimes they are very significant:

    • A higher price tag for a group member to betray.
    • Rarely, but it happens that business relationships worsen family relationships.
    • Conversely, problems in family life can negatively affect business and even ruin it.
    • When choosing the Husband-Wife model, there is a risk of being left with no income at all. When spouses work in different enterprises and one of them starts having problems, the other still receives a stable income, as a result of which the family has some money. If the spouses have a common firm, then they are deprived of such a safety cushion. / ul>

      “The hardest part is learning to separate roles at work and at home”

      A business created and jointly developed by spouses-entrepreneurs can be a big challenge for a family. Indeed, in this case, you will have to share responsibilities, make compromises and negotiate with each other not only in personal but also in professional life. The founders of the MarketEmotion event agency Ilya and Elena Gorbachev shared their recommendations on how to successfully combine family and company at the Family Business conference.

      Ilya and Elena Gorbachev, spouses-entrepreneurs from Moscow, founders of the MarketEmotion event agency. MarketEmotion is 9 years old, the agency works with corporate clients, its projects regularly become laureates of Russian and international profile business awards. Among the agency's clients are 1C, Pandora, Miratorg, McDonalds, Auchan and other well-known brands.

      Our business is not just a business, it is a way of life. In interviews with future employees, we always say: “You do not come to the super-large corporations with which we work. We do not have such that you look at the clock at 18:45 and pack your bag to go home. You choose this lifestyle when you brush your teeth in the morning and are already thinking about work. You dine in a restaurant that you like, and immediately know the number of seats - this can be useful for our events. "

      This is an approach that applies to both our business and our family life. We have formulated 10 rules that allow us to be together and grow further.

      Anything is possible. We have no boundaries between life and work. This is the same. We live at work and work from home.

      This is important for family businesses and for not getting divorced. Therefore, our general director, Ilya, must deal with the management of the company, development, strategic issues, and the creative director, Elena, must deal with the product.

      We do not argue, do not pull the blanket in our business, do not compete with each other. It is very important. If Ilya comes to us for a brainstorming session, I play the leading role. But when I go into the CEO's office, he is in charge here, and everyone must obey him.

      In a family business, there must be a CEO who makes the final decisions. This is important in order to move forward and not stop in controversial situations.

      Of course, several people can take part in the discussion, but in the final only one should make a decision and take responsibility for the result.

      This is the most difficult rule that we have not completely mastered. Sometimes we come home and continue to play leadership roles. But then we understand that we are husband and wife, mom and dad, that we have a child. And so we have to switch from work to home.

      We think and live by our business. Everything we deal with in our personal life, then we try to shift it to work, education and personal effectiveness. I am currently taking an MBA, I have three modules in three different countries. Recently I took a module in Dubai. I took my family with me. In addition to the fact that I studied, we had a great time to relax. And they thought about work. Next year, Expo 2021 is taking place in Dubai, there will be a lot of money, we need to enter this market now. We have already agreed on how to do this.

      Successful and successful relationships, as well as a well-established business, do not consist in the fact that they never have problems at all, but in the fact that their proportion tends to decrease, and the time required to exit especially critical situations, rather insignificantly. Therefore, in order for the family business to develop correctly, it is necessary to understand: problems will surely arise, and it is our knowledge of what stages they should be expected at in such situations and what should be done that will help to pass them correctly and go further through continuous growth.

      • Why do people start a joint business?
      • Reasons for opening;
      • The difference in the activities of men and women;
      • It's not about gender;
      • The main stages of a family business formation:
      • Entry stage;
      • Growth stage;
      • Peak stage; <
      • Decline stage;
      • Exit stage.
      • As a well-coordinated mechanism;
      • Secrets of building a business;
      • What is good for a bachelor;
      • Towards a bright joint future;
      • Why do people start a family business?

        I've seen very different family businesses. Some of them started as men, and then attracted their wives there; in other cases, the spouses initially acted as equal partners; and thirdly, the wives started the business, but then the initiative passed to the men. There were those in which at first someone was brought, and then the one / the one who was brought in not only initiated the divorce, but also sued himself a whole business; I know of cases when the family business became an obstacle to the birth of children, but there are also cases when, on the contrary, thanks to the business, they acquired offspring.

        In a word, there are no similar options, because just like every person is unique, the combination of two uniqueness gives an even more diverse combination, and what can we say about a combination of combinations ...

        Reasons to open

        But if you still classify and systematize, then in general there are several reasons why people decide to open a family business:

        • In fact, a family is already an enterprise that has its founders, its own charter, its own resources and is created to develop some kind of product. Usually these are children, perhaps values, sometimes relationships. But why the question should have been about what can be commercialized? That is, in general, a family business is a very logical consequence, and sometimes even a reason for the unification of two people of different genders;
        • You need to do something in life, and the family business minimizes costs (at least at first it seems ) on employees, their motivation and explaining to them what and how to do. Relatively speaking, you will most likely work with a person who not only doesn’t need to “move his legs” - to explain everything ten times, but who is also ready to work overtime and at the same time for free (up to a certain limit). That is, we are talking about economic benefits;
        • The family business has evolutionary benefits for both genders. First of all, a man can always "control" a woman, and a woman has constant protection, and she does not need to seek support from someone unknown in an aggressive male world, because there is a loved one nearby. At least a man usually believes that a family business will simplify his life in terms of controlling her time, while a woman believes that a loved one is a better protection than a “stranger” director or “employee”;
        • Finally, for a family business there are all historical prerequisites - men and women since the agrarian revolution, that is, for thousands of years, have created a business, mainly in the tillage direction, in which both men-women and children were involved in the processes, as born work force. That is, we can say that the creation of family businesses is in the blood of our species.


        These circumstances are enough for every third or fourth couple from time to time or at least once in the course of a relationship to try to commercialize their efforts. That is, to jointly create something, implement some idea, start a business, or at least trade something together.

        The difference in the activities of men and women and their impact on working days

        However, when starting a family business, usually people do not take into account the asymmetry of not only information - that is, the fact that each of the partners of spouses has different input information, but also the asymmetry of gender relations. That is, a man thinks and, as a result, evaluates his wife as a partner according to male parameters. A woman, accordingly, evaluates a man as a partner according to her female criteria.

        And we all well know what the conclusions will be if we evaluate the talents of an elephant according to its ability to climb trees, and a monkey according to its ability to fish at the bottom of the sea.

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