5 Ways to Determine if Working Together is a Match
The success rate for couples in business together is higher than traditional businesses. A whopping 38 million people work from home in the United States. And 3 million of U.S. small businesses are couple-owned. Why not the two of you?
Owning a business with your spouse can seem like a sexy, appealing idea. You’ll spend more time together. No more commuting. Your expenses are lowered. That’s all true.
The Downside for Couples in Business Together
On the flip side, growing a business together can easily strain your marriage. Simply because you are working side-by-side doesn’t mean it’s easier. Running a business together is hard work and often requires long hours, particularly during the start-up phase.
Do some pre-work to get on the same page about key concerns before you take the plunge. Are you both equally committed to the business? Do you share similar expectations? What is required to successfully grow your business? Who’s the visionary and who’s the voice of reason?
Don’t overlook operations and space. Home-based businesses have lower overhead and less start-up costs. Can the two of you work that closely together?
Since you’re the boss you can flex your schedule. It doesn’t have to be a traditional 9 to 5. If you don’t share a similar work style, then agree on some type of schedule to provide structure.
The Right Mindset
Don’t overlook your mindset. It will be tested. Growth includes ups and downs. The start-up phase can feel like your kayaking down Class 5 rapids. A solid mental, emotional, and physical outlook prevents you from quitting too soon.
By the way, working with your spouse will not save your marriage. Especially, during high pressure moments. Adding business stressors to an already rocky marriage does not fix things. In fact, many couples in business together engage a coach or therapist to work things through.
[bctt tweet=”Many couples in business together engage a coach or therapist to work things through. #getpaidwhatyoureworth” username=”lorenfogelman”]
What seems like a great fit for other couples in business together may end up as your worst nightmare.
Set some ground rules before you start.
- Decide on boundaries.
- Determine schedules.
- Set up a workable space for each of you.
- Set aside time to spend together as a couple.
- Plan time apart for self-care.
Periodically review and adjust so your work life doesn’t consume the rest of your life.
5 Tips for Couples in Business Together
If you both love working in business together, then check out these five tips.
- Define your role. Figure out your business roles. Where are you under-qualified? Or overqualified? Do your skills compliment your spouse’s? Discuss expectations. And realize there are some things you can’t anticipate until you get started. Get super clear about your roles in the business to avoid frustration, resentment or misunderstandings.
- Open communication and trust are essential. Can you discuss problems openly without being defensive? Consider how well you receive feedback. Any marital issues, like jealousy, need to be set aside during work hours. Don’t fool yourself – employees, contractors, and customers will pick up on your strained relationship. Plus, they’ll probably go somewhere else to avoid the tension.
- Fix your marriage. Sometimes your personal life will seep into your business hours. Keep in mind that a business together does not fix a rocky marriage. This is similar to couples who start a family to save the marriage. Therefore, a marital therapist may be a wise investment.
- Consider long days together. If you’re used to a 9 to 5, then honestly consider if the two of you can be together day in and day out. Some marriages thrive on separation, space, and alone time. Think this one through. Plan ways to nurture your independence while still working together. This reduces relationship strains.
- Who is the ultimate boss? My experience from working with couples in business together is that someone needs to have the final say. You can consult with one another. However, making all decisions together doesn’t typically work. Define those lines. Figure out who has the domain over a specific area. Then respect those boundaries. Clear boundaries and respect are critical, at work and at home. Without specific boundaries, your spouse may undermine your decision, causing things to get messy.
Frank and Open Communication Before You Take the Leap
First, answer these five questions separately. Next, compare your responses. If gaps exist, then find common ground. You may realize that going into business together is not the answer.
[bctt tweet=”Growing a business together while remaining in a loving relationship is challenging. You need a realistic mindset. #getpaidwhatyoureworth” username=”lorenfogelman”]
Growing a business together while remaining in a loving relationship is challenging. You need a realistic mindset, a willingness to be flexible and ready to make concessions.
If you are working in business together and facing growth challenges, I can help you with those things. It’s possible to build a business that supports your lifestyle instead of one where your marriage becomes sacrificed. A solution exists. Schedule your complimentary strategy session.