What does it take to build a business with your sibling?

Oh my lordy!  Seeing yourself on the cover of a magazine without expecting it is enough to give anyone a heart attack! And while it’s no cover of Vogue (and cover girls we definitely are not) we were chuffed for sorella & me to be included in Business Review Australia’s feature on siblings in business.

sorella & me maternity sleepwear

Since developing sorella & me maternity sleepwear, we have had quite a few people quiz us on how we make our business partnership as sisters work. They seem to envisage us in sisterly cat-fights when making key decisions – but I promise you, I only get my claws out if I really have to….. (Just kidding!… I only resort to name-calling).

Contrary to what people might think, working so closely has actually made our relationship as sisters a lot stronger. I have learnt so much about myself as a person since working with Alisha – and have also learnt a lot about her talents too. But we had a pretty good head start on what it would be like having grown up in our family’s businesses.

While it can certainly be tough at times (we are both very good at knowing how to push each others buttons!!!), more often than not being in a partnership with your sibling creates a supportive, honest, and creative environment to work in.

In other words, we can both ‘call it how it is‘ and this makes for really productive work!

sorella & me maternity sleepwear

alisha & I hard at work during the sorella & me photoshoot

My advice for anyone looking to start a business with their sibling?

I would definitely give it a go if you think you have a solid and trusting relationship, and you are both interested in helping the other be the best person they can be. This gives you a pretty solid foundation for getting started and being able to overcome (the many) bumps that come with running a small business.

You also need to make sure you both want the same out of the opportunity and have a very clear plan including roles. So good communication, understanding individual strengths, and goal setting right from the start is essential.

It can be so rewarding to work together as siblings in this way – to develop something special that you are both really proud of.  So if the opportunity comes up, give it a go!….all you need now is that one brilliant idea…

Alisha Watson & Anna McGregor

alisha and I having a girls day out with her daughter

You can check out the current edition of Business Australia Review, and the other siblings in business (all fantastic enterprises) who were also featured in the article online here.

Do you work with your partner or a family member? We’d love to hear your tips about how you make it work!

~ anna

5 thoughts on “What does it take to build a business with your sibling?

  1. Congrats Anna!! Funny as it was just yesterday that I did an interview with the AFR about working with my father – they are doing a story of parents and children working together – so I can appreciate the challenges and the rewards of working with family members!
    – Hayley

  2. Congratulations on being a cover model-fabulous work! I might have to get myself a copy of that magazine, it looks interesting. I work in my family’s 80 year old business- my father is my boss, my grandmother (who is 87) still works in the office 6 days a week-starting at 5:30am EVERY day(!), my uncle, 2 sisters and my brother are my co-workers and my husband has been working for us for 8 years in October. It definitely does have it’s challenges, as the line between treating each other as family members or co-workers can become blurred, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Hey Claire – Thanks for stopping by!

      Wow! That certainly is THE definition of a family business! Incredible! How about your Grandmother – she must be an incredible lady with a lot of fantastic business tips! Love that your whole family can work together in this way – I reckon when you are at your job for (usually longer than) 8 hours a day, you might as well be with the people you love the most. Thanks for sharing!

      • You’re so right Anna- spending a workday with family members definitely makes it a bit easier! On another note, I’ve just browsed your maternity line- and gosh it’s gorgeous, I wish I’d known about it when I was pregnant. Never mind, next baby! You two should be very proud of yourselves.

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