I read an article which stated that one in five small businesses is run by a married couple. When a new business is started, both finances and staff support are scarce. A spouse is usually recruited to provide business support. The support can take many forms including answering phones, running errands, providing office management and secretarial services.
Yes, a family working together does pose certain challenges, especially if young children and individual careers are present. I am an advocate of being in business with your spouse as my wife and I have worked together since we started our first business very early in our marriage. Thirty plus years later I know that our working together was the very best decision we ever made.
The following are several do’s and don’ts:
- You can’t separate your work from your home life. You can, however, have date nights and share hugs and smiles when a success occurs or when support is needed.
- Learn each other’s likes and dislikes and what motivates both of you. Respect each other’s ways of getting a job done.
- Have definite responsibilities within the business. In my case I am the outside person, marketing and meeting with clients. My wife manages our office from accounting to scheduling.
- Don’t ever blame each other when something goes wrong and in a small business, those occasions happen.
- Present a united front when meeting with staff and clients. Keep each other abreast of current happenings and agree on a course of action before meeting with anyone.
With the right attitude a couple working together provides many benefits, not only for business growth, but also for knowing that you have the best and most reliable partner possible. The best bonus is growing closer in your marriage as you celebrate your business growth.
Business is like riding a bicycle. Either you keep up your speed or you’ll fall down.
Have a great day!