Being in business with your spouse! Is that a road for an epic explosive complete disaster? Or could it be the best thing that ever happened to your relationship? What are the pros and cons to being a married couple and being in business together? Well, there are many. First how did you come to be in business together? Was it a venture that you started together or did one of you have a business when you got married and the other person came on board? There can be benefits and challenges for both scenarios.
1. Find What Is Right For You As A Couple!
For instance, my husband Ramon and I had a few starts and stops figuring out what was going to be best scenario for us. When we first met I had a couple of established businesses that I had been apart of with my ex-husband and my son. I wanted Ramon to be involved with them and tried to open avenues for him to be apart of the inner workings. He was interested to a certain extent, but also wasn’t exactly sure of what place he should take. He didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes and he didn’t know if he would be respected as a team player. He figured that he would just be looked at as the boss’s boyfriend. Even though he was contributing beneficial work to the companies that was amazing and of high quality, he didn’t know if and where he fit in. It ended up that I cut ties with these companies so Ramon and I didn’t have to try to figure that out for too long.
2. Coming Up With A Plan Of Action!
Ramon and I decided to start our own business together. One of the first things was to come up with a name for our business and exactly what we planned on doing with it. After much back and forth Ramon came up with the name Split Point, which I loved as well. We wanted start our own film company, producing, directing and filming our own projects and projects for hire. We searched online to see if anyone else was using that name and then Ramon checked with godaddy.com to see if the website address was available too. It was so that was promising that no one else was using the name already. We started discussing what our goals were and what we wanted to use this company for. We had a lot to talk about and a lot of goals to make and meet. Ramon got to work creating a dope logo that we could use once everything was approved that we could use the name. He even made an animated 3-D logo for us that is completely amazing. He suggested utilizing some of the talent on Fiverr to help us build out the website we would soon need for Split Point. He said that we could find all kinds of people that could assist in getting tasks done for the business at a great price. I was new to this and anxious to learn about this great asset to businesses that I wasn’t really aware of. I had always been paying employees to get things done and at times feeling as though things were not at all cost effective.
Ramon and I were excited about our new venture and started talking about everything we wanted to do. Our dreams, plans, aspirations, goals to reach for and attain!
3. Deciding Whether To Incorporate, Be a LLP or a Sole Proprietorship?
When I met Ramon I had quite of bit of experience with incorporating businesses. I had already incorporated four businesses that I owned the biggest and most significant being Tae Bo Fitness. My ex-husband and I had incorporated our main company BG Star that was the holding company for the Tae Bo Fitness Brand and all of the trademarks associated with it. Ramon and I knew that using a private attorney and law firm can be extremely costly. Not only to start the process for Split Point but to have them maintain the upkeep of your corporation and books. Because of the potential costs involved we decided to look into alternative avenues to incorporate so that we could save money and have more capital to work with.
We decided that the best course of action for Split Point was to form an S Corporation. We decided this because of the many benefits of a corporation. One of the main appealing aspects was that being under a corporate umbrella your personal assets are protected. Ramon and I wanted to keep our business and personal assets separate. We used LegalZoom.com which is a fast and less expensive route than using a private attorney to getting many various legal filings done. They do an efficient, effective job and there is always someone knowledgeable to help you in the event that you need it.
4. Communication Is Key!
Ramon and I were up and running, we were official! Split Point, Incorporated. Now we had to sit and talk about goals and develop a business plan. In our relationship we have agreed to never disagree. We don’t believe in the saying it’s OK to agree to disagree. We believe that unless problems are solved somehow that they will always be problems. So for us to be not only life partners but business partners as well, we HAVE TO COMMUNICATE!
There is no way to get things done and done well, with fun and joy if you don’t talk through things and be on one accord. Ramon and I have had to make many very tough decisions together in business. But, we made them together though, as partners so we were knew what to expect of the outcome because we were in it as one.
5. A Mission Plan, Capital & Future Ventures Or Projects!
Initially Split Point Inc. had very little capital to start with, but even though it was limited. We decided to invest in a great Sony A7RII, some Diva Kino Flo lights, several C-Stands and a bunch of sand bags which we got at a discount on craigslist. I already owned three Canon C-100’s and a couple of ARRI lights. Ramon had talked to me about a couple of ideas he had for short films so we discussed him possibly writing a script for one of them. Coincidentally at about the same time my son Billy Blanks Jr contacted me and said to me “Mom, if there is anything you want or need done that I could direct would you please consider using me. I have to direct something to submit to the Director’s Guild to continue to qualify for my Director’s Guild License? I discussed this with Ramon and we formulated a plan together. He was going to write the script and I was going to begin organizing the people so that we could get a crew. We were going to do our first film!
So “Steak Or Ramen” was born. Split Point Inc’s first short film.
6. Building A Team, Organization, Schedules, Timelines and More Communication
With Your Business Partner!
Everything came together pretty quickly. We got a full shooting crew, camera men, lighting people, grips. We got a first and second AD’s, hair, make up and wardrobe and figured out a shooting schedule. Next we got locations secured, even a Ralph’s Grocery Store in Sherman Oaks, California. Ramon got the script written quickly and even did a couple of small rewrites. We had auditions for the different actors parts and everyone got to work. Meetings were scheduled and we purchased Gorilla Software to use for our call sheets and other paperwork for production. There was a lot to do to pull this all together in a short period of time. Ramon and I had a lot of responsibility on our plate being the Producers and with this being Split Point’s first film too. We wanted to do a great job and have our shit together. This meant that Ramon and I really had to be communicating well with one another first and foremost. We then had to communicate well with those working with and for us to get the best end result possible.
7. Experiencing Building Together, Overcoming and Success Far Out Weighs The
Challenges, Hardships and Failures You May Experience
Filming “Steak or Ramen” was an amazing experience and a success in so many ways. It doesn’t mean that everything went completely smoothly or was easy. We had some challenges at times for various reasons. Ramon and I had to make some unpopular decisions at times that we felt were for the best. As the term says, they were “executive decisions” made by the executives, The Producers and owners of Split Point. Thank God that Ramon and I are on the same page with everything that we do, it helps us to navigate through the tough times. It enables us to get things accomplished and get the end result that we are looking for. At the end of the day sometimes the success or failure of something is based on many factors and on how you or someone else looks at it. Sometimes even if something ended up being an epic failure it might still have been an amazing experience to go through. Something you wouldn’t change for the world. Ramon and I have experienced things like that in our lives together, personally and yes in business as well. We don’t want to repeat some things whatsoever but they were hell of an experience and all the more fun and exciting because we did it together!