Why Your Personal Relationship is Important to Your Small Business

Business RelationshipI’ve been involved in franchising for 3 years, and all I can say is this: franchising is like having a family.

You can’t do as you wish to your business – you have to discuss, discuss and discuss with your franchisor.

Not only that, you should build a ‘coalition’ with other franchisees to propose a campaign or change to the franchisor. In other less typical case, the franchisor request your help to persuade a less cooperative franchisee, that is usually trying to do entrepreneurship in franchising, a.k.a I-do-whatever-I-want-to-do-to-my-franchise-unit activities.

And yes, franchising is not fit for all entrepreneurs.

Now back to the topic.

I notice during my short 3 years as a franchisee many franchises interview potential franchisees, mainly not to determine their capital availability and business plan, but to learn whether you are suitable for franchising or not.

The single question many franchises ask is this: Tell me your relationship with your family members (your wife and/or kids).

And not only in franchising, I suspect that this is often being asked by a potential business partner. I did ask and was asked about it in my previous business dealings.


Your personal relationship reflects your business relationship

Indeed – if you are a divorcee, your potential business partner might think you lack commitment. This alone, although largely acts as assumption, could ruin your chances to partner with the big guys. A lengthy explanation is needed to clarify things.

What about a little bit of white lie?

Sure, your potential business partner might believe your white lies, but not after they are finally partner with you – your true colours will show up, eventually.

Your aspiration and traits are often used by your potential business partners to decide whether they should partner with you or not

Some potential business partners seem to have a keen interest in your personal life. Mostly, they are not entirely interested in yours – they are probing for your aspiration and traits, to see whether you are the right person to partner with.

I’m not an expert in this and I can’t definitely tell you the theories behind it, but I did experience it myself.

I was talked into sharing a bit more that I should, and I finally realised that my potential business partner is actually probing on me!

How to secure valuable business partnership: Be yourself and work on your personal relationship

Cliche, yes. Rubbish, no.

There are plenty of white lies in entrepreneurship, and I have wrote a blog post about this.

Entrepreneurs are trying hard to become the person their partners wanted them to be – sometimes it works, sometimes it backfires.

Being down to earth and transparent is unique and hard to come by these days. Business world has been filled with a bunch of liars and scammers, and finding the good guys among the bad ones is very, very refreshing :)

Another important key is to work on your personal relationship.

Having a good personal relationship with your family members, friends and colleagues will do you good in building up reputation.

Your friends could be the key holders to the potential business partners you aim to partner with. Your husband/wife can recommend you to their colleagues and friends – and so on.

The ultimate testimonial is when your potential business partner asked you to have a family dinner together. You will see that your relationship with your family will speak on itself in securing you a deal.

Yes, relationship is THAT important :) Are you ready to use your personal relationship as your testimonial?

Ivan Widjaya
Strong family bonds create better businessmen.
Image by llawliet.