⌚ 3 min read
Running a business with your partner - an ideal set-up or disaster waiting to happen?
Contrary to popular belief, mixing business and love isn’t to be avoided at all costs. Rather, having the same goals and values and being able to celebrate success together can be a great strengthener for a relationship.
Successfully running a business with a romantic partner takes some hard work but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. More than half of family businesses are run by spouses, making this an increasingly common set-up.
Being around your partner almost 24/7 while maintaining a strong relationship is a not for the faint-hearted, but we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts to increase your chances of success.
Have good, scratch that, AMAZING communication. Avoiding topics or softening criticisms will cause both your professional and personal lives to suffer. While it may seem obvious to you, nevertheless clarify which role you are speaking from, spouse or co-worker, to avoid conflict and hurt feelings.
A successful work relationship depends on a successful personal relationship. Prioritize your relationship by making time for each other outside of the office. Even though you are spending all day every day together, planning a weekly date night is necessary to calm the stress work can put on the relationship.
Keep it professional. Make sure each partner clearly understands the work-life boundaries you have set-up. It’s best to treat each other as you would any other work colleagues while at the office, otherwise emotions can get in the way and important decisions will be fuddled. Also, make sure each has an equal say in decisions that do get made to avoid tension.
Appreciate and celebrate. Showing appreciation for the little things is critical for ensuring that both your business and relationship succeed. Show your gratitude for the small “wins” your partner has throughout the day. Celebrate the successes you have together to create a positive and healthy environment where each partner knows their contribution is appreciated.
Make sure you’re on the same page. Create a well-defined business plan and agree on the goals and vision you have. If you can’t agree on the big picture, both the business and your relationship will suffer. Also create a specific “relationship plan” that details the boundaries you have set up between work and home life.
Define your roles and responsibilities. One of the benefits of having a spouse that is also your business partner is that they can fill the gap on the skills you lack and vice versa. Define your responsibilities to the business based on your individual skill sets and write these roles into the business plan to avoid meddling with each other’s respective roles later on.
No work or personal relationship is simple or smooth all the time, especially when it mixes on these two fronts. But this unique set-up also creates the opportunity for greater financial, professional, and personal fulfillment, when approached correctly.