Managing and operating a business with your life partner or spouse is no easy task.
Why? Well, there are pros to working and living with your business partner. For one thing, you trust them. However, there’s no way to avoid disagreements that will rise arise from professional and personal interaction.
Many couples just don’t navigate the obstacles of working and living together.
If timing can make the difference between success and failure – now might be it. The pandemic lockdowns have forced couples to work together to an extent, i.e. they are often working in the same space albeit with different bosses and teams. So if you’re considering top business ideas for couples to extend working together to within the same business, but need to know what to do to make it plain sailing, read on!
A big plus for working together is it will save your business money. Hiring your spouse for a role they are well equipped to do, i.e. they have the education, skills and training, is cheaper than hiring someone else. Not only will there be no recruiting fees, but your spouse, like you, may also accept a lower than market rate salary.
Mitigate Risks Of Working Together
Now that you’re keen to learn more, let’s consider some of the ways to mitigate the risks of living and working with your spouse.
1. Set Boundaries Between Personal And Business Life
While working with your spouse offers lots of merits, there’s one great challenge you need to deal with. It’s separating your personal and business life together. This might lead to blurry lines, mainly if your business office is also located in your home.
Keep a healthy balance between work and life by designating business hours. Ensure to commit to these hours and refrain from tackling business issues when a day’s work has ended.
Some couples find it hard to draw the line. Your relationship and well-being may suffer, so it’s best to talk openly about your strategies to make things work in your personal and business relationships. Couples tend to talk to each other about their day, and you can still do the same despite sharing the same day at work.
Discuss your feelings about job-related events and focus on the thought that you’re trying to talk generally about how you felt about your busy day.
Another thing to keep in mind is to make time for the entire family. No matter how busy your business can get, family time is quality time. And as it should be with all couples, family is more important than work or any other area in your life.
2. Plan Your Goals Together
Consider the pros and cons of starting a business with your spouse, whether you’re planning to join an existing business or creating something from scratch. When you’re both aware of such an arrangement’s good and bad sides, you won’t have to blame each other or regret your decisions later on.
Ensure both of you are on the same page. Determine and anticipate how business activities can affect your personal life and check your business plan together.
When you set your goals together, you’d focus on them and work together as a team. To help prevent strain and stress on your marriage, establish ground rules about how business decisions are made. Apply open communication as much and as often as possible.
3. Protect Family Finances
You won’t have to worry much about money when your business is a success, as it’ll likely go well if it thrives. However, before reaching this stage, you should expect financial challenges in the beginning. There’s a high chance you’d run into financial problems despite applying tips for managing cash flow. There’d also be instances when you’ll have to make investments and even borrow a large amount of money.
All these are normal in business. But this doesn’t mean you should completely risk all your family finances. Before getting involved in a business together, you need to set aside money that’s only intended for the company. You can protect your family finances by having a budget contingency in place and a clear understanding of your budget and financial boundaries.
Also, it’s best to talk about what to do when the business fails. You and your spouse should set a limit as to when both of you should keep trying and investing to make the business work. Knowing when to stop your efforts and accept defeat would make everything more transparent and organized financially.
4. Decide On Who’s In Charge Of What
Defining your roles and responsibilities in advance would help. By dividing labor, your business would be organized and structured. Moreover, you’d both be on one page, thus preventing inconvenient situations from arising.
Roles can be decided based on both your strengths and skills. Whoever between you and your spouse is good at marketing and sales should be assigned to that role. Make sure to keep an open mind to what your spouse has to say, but respect each other regarding the job roles you have.
5. Organize A Regular Business Meeting
Goals and targets should be regularly checked and assessed. This would allow you to monitor your business progress. To do this, it’s best to schedule a regular business meeting together.
Every month, you should take the time to review your goals and accomplishments, discuss any issues and concerns with your team, and make any necessary adjustments. As you examine your business, try to be professional and tackle topics only related to business.
6. Communicate To Resolve Disputes
To maintain a strong relationship, you need to communicate well. Avoiding the matter would only make matters worse. At the same time, this would trigger defects in your marriage and personal relationship, so it’s best to have open communication. Stay honest with each other and be receptive to opinions, feedback, ideas, and suggestions. It’s also vital to acknowledge each other’s efforts.
Give praise when your spouse has done an excellent job, but be honest and open to speak out about criticisms, too. Business partnerships with spouses will be successful if mutual honesty is maintained. Remember that you’re always in the situation together.
7. Trust Each Other
If it doesn’t already exist – you’ll need to work on trusting each other. One way to do so effectively is to agree to the rules and assigned roles.
There may be times you’d both have different views, but it’s always best to practice trust, especially if the other person is doing their best to fulfill your goals. However, when trust issues are already recurring, and problems continue to arise, you can talk about it as mature business partners and find a better solution.
You’ve nailed working together during the lockdown. The timing might be right to do it within your own business.
Working with your life partner will reveal many opportunities to connect and share entrepreneurial ideas and grow as partners.
Commit to the many necessary steps mentioned in this article to ensure your life and work partnership gets off on the right path. Plus, don’t shy away from seeking external professional assistance from a meditator or coach used to working with couples who run their own business.