Here’s everything you need to know before you jump out of bed and into business with your spouse.
When business partners Rachel Segal and Scott Harmer needed to hash out a plan for scheduling important project work, it wasn’t in their company’s boardroom.
“It was usually in the middle of the night, whispering over sleeping babies when we sorted out our schedule,” Segal confessed.
The married couple and former owners of a web design and development small business would typically discuss work between chores on the small farm they own off the coast of Vancouver Island, B.C. Occasionally, they got together in the office space they rented in a nearby town. But mostly they took advantage of any quiet moment they could.
Juggling marriage, family and business was tough, but altogether worth it for Segal and Harmer. Even though they decided to shut down their successful business to pursue new opportunities, the couple looks back happily on the period when they were working together.
It’s definitely not for everyone. The main pitfall to working together is the extremely blurred line between work and home life. If something goes wrong in either category, it could have a huge effect on the other. One minute you’re discussing the marketing budget and the next you’re arguing about who picks up around the house more.
But if you can manage to capture the alchemy that makes your personal relationship work and transfer it to a business, the results could be magical. Think of Bill and Melinda Gates, who run the largest private foundation in the world together; Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who own music streaming service Tidal; and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who jointly run a successful film production company. When couples that work together figure out a formula that works, it really works.
For the right kind of couple, running a business with your spouse can be a fulfilling way to build a career.
Running a Business With Your Spouse: How to Make It Work
With non-stop work and life happening in all directions at all times, how do marriages and businesses stay intact? Here are nine strategies that can help you thrive as a business owner and a spouse.
1. Assess Your Compatibility
Your first step is to determine how compatible you are working together as a couple. How do you and your spouse handle working together on everyday projects like cooking a meal, cleaning the house, planning a trip or organizing the basement? How’s the vibe when you spend 24-7 together during vacations? Are you more in love than ever or are you desperate for a break?
If you don’t have a great track record with collaboration, it’s important to understand the triggers that lead to problems and think about how you would overcome them if you were running a business together.
2. Make Sure You Have the Same Goals
The possible outcomes of entrepreneurship are endless. Do you want to build an empire with an office in every major city? Would you be content running a modest-sized business with a handful of employees in an office close to home? Or are you looking at more of a home-based business that allows you to make a living whileContinue reading