For many couples, the thought of mixing up business with loved ones seems like a danger zone for relationships that must be avoided at all costs. But you might be surprised to learn that about 1.4 million companies are run by husband-wife teams in the United States, and that number is growing all the time.
Successful couple companies like Chumbak, ABL Workspaces and Sun Industries have proven this. More and more couples are realizing the advantages of a business partnership with their partner. Why not spend more time together, work together on a shared passion and earn money?
Only if it’s done right. Before delving into this decision, there are a few key steps you should take to avoid roadblocks later:
- Realize if the two of you are really ready to start a business
Most partnerships often get in the way because one partner is all-in while the other is on the fence, and in a partnership, especially with your spouse, this may be the last thing you want. So, before starting any business with your spouse, do a thorough analysis of the situation and consider whether you are both passionate about the business.
Do you both have the time and financial resources? How will this decision affect your personal life and marriage, and ultimately determine whether you are satisfied with these changes? Understanding the bigger picture by discussing the pros and cons is a good place to start to avoid conflict or setbacks later.
2. Discuss your vision for the business
If one wants to build an empire and the other wants a side business with just enough to make a decent income, and if one wants a slow and steady path and the other wants to borrow as much as it takes, trouble is inevitable. For this reason, it is important to sit down with your partner and imagine the future of the company as well as the level and tolerance of the risk.
A detailed business plan with a clear outline of specific goals, a business development plan, and a contingency plan are just a few examples. Agreeing on the vision and the bigger picture would ensure a shared perspective and long-term benefits for the partnership. If your views do not match, be sure to communicate if you ever see things differently so that the company can achieve its ultimate goal.
3rd Realize your strengths
Do you love chatting to people while you work, while your partner enjoys working alone in peace? Do you focus best in the morning while your spouse is a night owl? Are you more focused on the bigger picture with your spouse touching every detail? Sounds difficult doing business with such different personalities, doesn’t it? Well not if you’re smart!
Start by accepting differences and remembering the benefits of working with different people, different ideas, perspectives, and examples from numerous drastic partners who have come a long way in their business. Second, assess both your strengths and your weaknesses. An assessment of the personality can be helpful! After you understand your strengths, it’s easier to find and focus on areas where you can complement each other and play out your strengths as a couple.
“We also found that our skills and strengths complement each other. Although they are very different, they give us the autonomy to excel in our individual areas of expertise and then work together as a team. “- Tom and Dianne Knapp, WIN Home Inspection
4th Define roles within the company
Don’t get to this step without going through the previous steps to understand each other’s skills and preferences. Define your specific roles as soon as this is not possible. If any of you are better at using numbers, stick with the spreadsheets. If the other is good at dealing with people, stick to the people’s roles.
If any one suggests more creative campaigns, let them take over that arena, but make sure to check back in with the other to make sure the finances are sufficient and the project is feasible, i.e. in short work to your strengths to exploit as a couple. To make it clear who is responsible for what, detailed job descriptions with a clear overview of tasks and expectations can be helpful.
Make sure, that:
- Prioritize a stable work-life balance
When talking to a couple who run a business together, the first piece of advice is to keep work and home separate. So remember to create healthy boundaries between the two, don’t talk about work at home or vice versa. Set specific times of the day, e.g. B. Meal times, which are taboo for business discussions. Remember to invest extra time occasionally to reconnect as a life partner.
Spending time at work and at home can be great, but it’s okay to take a break sometimes to avoid burnout. Take the time to focus on the things you enjoy – hang out with a friend, hit the gym, or go on a solo outing! This would give both of you a chance to add some balance to your busy schedules and you will be amazed at what crazy ideas your refreshed you will come back with!
“We make sure that we always take our time. We both have our own lives outside of business and even outside of our marriage. We try to actively keep up with the hobbies that bring us happiness and help us escape the stresses of the world ”- Michael and Mecca Elliot, Namaste Nail Sanctuary
- Don’t act like each other’s boss
Remember that you are the same in both relationship and business. So when you’ve set out the expectations, trust your spouse to do half of it. Micromanaging or being authoritarian can indicate to your partner that you are unsure of their abilities and cause rifts.
Starting a business with your spouse can be one of the most challenging and enjoyable tasks you can do. A business partner who is your favorite person is sure to come with laughter and tears, partying and anger.
So make it a goal to share your successes together while celebrating milestones, laughing at annoying customers, and toasting the fact that you and your life partner are working towards a common goal.
Although it is difficult with adjustment, communication, and flexibility, it is possible to start and run a successful business with your spouse that can also work wonders to deepen your relationship!