According to research, 85% of startups worldwide are established with family money. In the US, roughly 22% of these companies are jointly owned and operated by spouses. Running a business with your spouse is both challenging and fulfilling. You get to spend a lot of time together working towards a common goal. But on the other hand, mixing personal and professional lives can be hard. However, with the right strategies, you can run a business with your spouse and steer it to success. Here’s top tips for running a business with your spouse.
Separate Work from Personal Life
It’s easy for the lines between work and personal life to become blurry when running a business with your spouse. Don’t let the business take over your entire life as this will have a negative impact on your individual life and your life as a couple. To achieve a healthy work-life balance, set working hours and stick to them.
Schedule weekly or monthly meetings and discuss how to run your business better. During the meetings, you can come up with solutions for existing problems and give each other feedback. Also, spend time with each other outside of work. Take breaks every now and then and go on vacations to recharge.
Define Roles and Responsibilities
Clearly defining roles and expectations has a positive impact on the business because everyone knows what to do. Agree on roles and responsibilities as this will create order and structure for your business. It will also prevent you from stepping on each other’s toes. Each of you should take roles based on their strengths.
For example, if your spouse is great with people, they can handle HR-related tasks. If you’re good at managing money, you can handle the finances. You may be an SEO whiz and know how to rank keywords like “best birthday cake in Orlando” or “what is the most expensive car in the world?” Play to your strengths and take roles you know you’ll perform well.
Defining roles helps prevent confusion and ensures one person isn’t overburdened. Be sure to revisit and adjust your roles as the business grows. Accept feedback and suggestions from each other and be open to new ways of doing things.
Focus on Communication
Your business won’t succeed without good communication. Make sure you talk about everything before making a final decision. Regularly discuss plans for the business and be open about your thoughts and feelings. Whenever conflicts occur, resolve them quickly. This will help you to run your business smoothly.
Voice your concerns to your spouse as this will show that you trust them. Never use an accusatory tone even when you know they are in the wrong. instead, address the issue that led to a problem.
Maintain Separate Finances
Commingling funds can lead to the death of your business. Avoid confusion and conflict by maintaining separate finances. Have separate bank accounts for the business and yourselves and keep personal and business expenses separate. You’ll easily know the financial performance of the business. Additionally, keeping business finances separate from personal finances can help protect you in case of any legal actions.