I want to share with you the five key challenges around working together with your family – and spouse – to build a sustainable business. 

The Challenges between family and business are:

  • A Plan

  • Your Role

  • Clarity

  • Communication

  • Peace of Mind

Let us look at each one in turn and the impact they have on us and our loved ones.

Then I’ll discuss solutions in the form of some actionable steps you can take, with your loved ones, to overcome those challenges and build both your business and better relationships.


  1. You need a plan

Solve Challenges Family Business - Raymond Holt - Plan - Communication

The lack of a connected plan with your spouse or partner is one of the biggest challenges I see business owners experiencing when trying to build a sustainable business. 

 We typically run both parts of our life as independents rather than bringing them together. We create friction between the two! This ultimately ends in pain and anguish in terms of achieving the results that we are aiming for.


  1. Know your Role in family and business

Too often we’re not clear from the outset what the roles and responsibilities of each individual are! 

This causes friction in the relationship, anxiety builds and hinders the communication between partners. 


  1. Gain Clarity

A lack of clarity around how you will make decisions. The reality is that we make decisions in isolation for each – both the business and the family – independently. What we need to do is build them decision making together. 



  1. Improve Your Communication

I’m not talking about the fact that we talk – it’s where, when and the way of ensuring we have consistent communication. Too often the conversation takes place while doing the washing up, cooking or eating dinner where we talk about the business. And we don’t talk about the family as part of the joined-up conversation but rather as a separate entity at another time.


  1. Provide Peace of mind

What does peace of mind look like? It is about ensuring understanding in what matters most for the other person and each other – so that you’re able to create the right foundations, that connect at the base level, on a day to day basis. Ensuring what is right and matter most to both of you.



Solve Challenges Family Business - Raymond Holt - Plan - Communication

In order to tackle the challenges that we’ve just outlined, we must create common goals for you and your family alongside your business by coming up with an agreeable plan. Share them together, work on them, work together – to put those common goals in place. Not independently, but work that as a partnership and as a team – I value my family most of all.

Then understand the delivery of those goals by identifying clearly what each of your roles is and what is it that each of you is going to do. Now within the business, it might mean that one of you looks after the administration and maybe it means one of you isn’t working in the business. But from a connected perspective, be clear about expectations, goals and roles for both of you. 

Once you’ve got those clear, it’s important to find a way of communicating and being clear about the way you’re going to communicate.


Example of how to solve the challenges between family and business

Solve Challenges Family Business - Raymond Holt - Plan - Communication

So, for example, at the dinner table – there will be no discussion about the business. However, when the kids have gone to bed on a Sunday evening, that’s the time when you will talk about the business. Have allotted time, clearly defined that is agreed with both of you to talk about the business. But also to have that same clear and allotted time for talking about family. And for those of you who have children, engage the children appropriately in the business conversation, but also the family conversation!

Ultimately we have to begin with good foundations. And that means being clear for both of you, what peace of mind looks like. 

What are the standards that you are going to set in terms of whether there are take-home funds? Or how you’re going to communicate? Or being clear what good standards look like, set them and then work with them. 

Writing this part of the article reminded me of a solution my wife and I implemented in our journey. It’s a short story I titled, “The Hard Truth” and you can read it here ** The Hard Truth article link ** 


Over to You!

I have outlined some solutions to some of the challenges we experience building sustainable businesses.

What I’m looking for right now is for us to take action on this. 

Take what you’ve learned here, find the gaps in your business, in your family lives and identify what steps you are going to take to bridge them – because it’s just so powerful! 

Please let me know what your gaps, action steps and transformations are. Put them in the comments of the linked video to this article – it’d be great to hear from you.



Raymond Holt - Business With Your Partner


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