Paying attention is automatically more crucial when the game gets tougher in the real world. To be in business with your spouse is one of those situations. With a common thread running through personal and professional lives in the form of your wife or husband, there is suddenly much more at stake.
That being said, it is completely possible to run a business with your spouse and be successful at it. There are a number of basic rules which, when adhered to, can turn the idea of running a business with your other half into the best decision of your life.
Discuss your visions
When it comes to having a shared idea or concept about where you invest your collective time and money, it is always important to have a clear idea of where you both wish to see the venture in a few years’ time. Designate some time to clarify this ‘vision’ both to yourself and your partner. While it is generally alright to have different ideas about a few things, it is best if you and your spouse are, by and large, on the same page about what you want to business to become. This not only allows for mutual understanding in every decision before you begin but also keeps you looking out for the bigger picture: your co-owned venture.
Define roles smartly
Try to understand your strengths and weaknesses, assess your blind spots or weak areas and discuss job roles accordingly with your partner. This allows for effective management and prevents you from stepping over to your partner’s departments. In a newly formed company, while the immediate lack of staff or money may call for both of you to improvise with tasks daily, this should not translate into a disagreement over your partner’s way of doing things. Moreover, for the roles neither of you is up to undertake or inept at handling, outsourcing or delegation can avoid headaches over problems stemming due to no one taking care of them in the first place.
Don’t let conflict fester
Working with your spouse at a professional level will mean that issues and contentions outside and inside of the business will spill over to both sides every now and then. This makes it inevitable to have conflicts from time to time. That being said, the rule for finding solutions here is common to both business and marriage; end conflicts before they end you. Talk out problems that seem to persistently perturb you and take your partner into confidence. Never let disagreements escalate to the point that they end up hurting the health of your partnership.
Don’t pawn your life
A lot of naysayers complain that the majority of business run with a spouse end up either in bankruptcy, divorce, or both. If the thought of this rankles you enough to worry about your marriage’s health, then reconsider if the risk of partnering up with your significant other is worth it to you and them. A successful business and its achievements may just ring hollow if you end up losing your relationship in the process. Take time out of work and ensure that the personal bond between you two is not affected. After all, someone comfortable with you at an intimate level can back you up even better professionally. Little things such as appreciation for a job well done or support on an off-day can also do wonders for keeping things easy and positive at work and beyond.