Siblings make incredible teams (hint hint: Cheaper By The Dozen), so it’s no surprise that when it comes to business, sibling-run ones take the cake. This Siblings Day, instead of speaking about the emotional and moral benefits of having a sibling, we wanted to highlight the profitable ones. Sibling-run businesses are taking over the world and we wanted to know their secret sauce to success. We spoke to Vanshika Gupta and Tanvi Gupta, founders of a one-of-a-kind styling company, The Mad Dresser, Arpan Mahtani and Aanchal Mahtani, founders of the unique jewellery brand, Carat Crush, Renaye Tejani and Rheanne Tejani, a sister-duo running the bakery, Renaye’ Bakesale and Risheeta Agarwal and Rishabh Agarwal, founders of the very cool creative studio, E02 EXP to find out what really gives sibling-run businesses that extra edge. Risheeta says,
The best thing about working with your sibling is that you know your business partner is never going to run away with your money because honestly where will he go? He lives in the next room!
It’s All About The Familial Bond
For all these siblings, their kryptonite is their close bond. The strong and personal relationship they share plays a big role in the success of their business. It helps when bosses have grown up together and share unconditional trust, love and understanding. Aanchal says,
Seamlessness, definitely that’s the biggest perk. We have actually been extremely close since we were children so we would have to say the biggest advantage is we run like a well oiled machine. Sometimes a pointed look across the room is more telling than several sentences.
There is a sense of comfort that we wouldn’t have with anyone else in the world. We can trust each other blindly, something that isn’t possible with an outsider.
No Filter=No Fear
When you’ve seen someone in their diaper making all sorts of messes, all inhibitions and filters go out the window. This is a massive advantage for these sibling-run businesses. It helps when one can call the other one out without any fear or apprehension. Risheeta says,
Being siblings, we have zero filters when we have disagreements and our fights can get quite “let’s-get-a-tub-of-popcorn” type. But we know that in the end, we will always be able to work through our differences.
Aanchal also says that the key to their success is clear communication, no matter how good or bad the issue is. Arpan is her biggest critic, and vice-versa, and this helps greatly when it comes to the success of their business.
Blurring Personal and Professional Lines Is Okay
When one does business with family, the personal and professional lines are bound to get messy, and guess what? That’s absolutely okay! In fact, it’s an advantage at times too. Strictly professional relationships don’t always result in the best output and sometimes need a personal touch. Vanshika says,
We take work very personally and somehow I feel that that’s the best thing for us.
My relationship with my sister is not formal. We have flexible timings as we work from our home and there are no fixed hours. It’s research and inspiration 24/7! We never completely switch-off, but we enjoy it because of how passionate we are about what we do.
Tanvi, however, says that while complete separation of professional and personal relationships isn’t possible, maintaining some boundaries are. She says,
At first, it was hard for me to separate the personal and professional equation but as time has passed, we have a pretty good understanding of what boundaries you have to set at work.
She further adds that the presence of other co-workers makes a difference to this as her sisters are more professional with each other around their colleagues as compared to when they’re alone.
Embracing The Differences
Not all sibling-duos and trios are perfect and individual differences are bound to set in. In a sibling-run business, instead of fighting it, embracing it is the real key.
Arpan is an absolute perfectionist which of course has its benefits but can sometimes be exhausting. I can be laid back in my approach which can also be frustrating. But your sister is your sister at the end of the day which makes you most understanding and most importantly forgiving, which works out great if you are partners.
He has a very macro style of working and I have a very micro style of working. But, he knows me and I know him. We know each other’s pluses and shortcomings and we always take up for each other!
The Ultimate Trust Factor
All our sibling-entrepreneurs agreed that trust plays a massive role in the success of their business and it is definitely the majority ingredient of their secret sauce. It helps when you have 100% faith in your business partner. It gives you an incredible sense of security and motivates you to take on bigger challenges and drive your venture to the next level. Plus, it also helps with financial safety and the fear of having your profits stolen, embezzled of worse is non-existent. And if you’ve seen The Wolf Of Wall Street, you know just how important this is. Risheeta says,
Absolute blind trust when it comes to any business decision is one of the biggest plus points because you know the other person inside out.
Some Advice From These Super-Siblings
If you’re looking to start your own sibling-run business, here is the advice you definitely need:
- Renaye says doing lots of research and making a three-year plan and understand your commercial growth is needed before starting a business together.
- Arpan says to keep the dynamic simple and give the other respect and treat them as equals.
- Tanvi and Vanshika say to not think twice and just go for it but also maintain boundaries, because not having any can put a strain on the relationship.
- Risheeta says the trust and love that siblings share is are incomparable to any other relationship. They will always give you the best advice and help you do whats right, no matter how big or small is the problem is. Plus, they are your personal safety-net.
Sibling-run businesses are undeniably strong and have an incredible advantage. What business would you and your sibling run together? Share it with us in the comments below!