- Why Open a Husband and Wife Business?
- How Does Being in Business Impact a Relationship?
- What Can You Do to Keep Your Relationship Healthy?
Q: What are some strategies a husband and wife team can use to succeed in business?
A: Husband and wife business partnerships are an exciting opportunity but may lead to unique challenges. Read below to learn how to keep your small business – and relationship intact.
Opening a business by yourself can be tough.
While solopreneurs have more opportunities than ever, they also face an enormous workload and steep learning curve. This can make even the most enthusiastic entrepreneur hesitant to launch a business alone
Many choose to join up with a business partner to split the responsibilities and make the workload more manageable. In many cases, this ends up being a spouse, intimate, or other partner – that co-habitate.
Husband and wife small business teams (and other romantic partnerships) are more common than you might think.
According to some experts, “Family-run businesses comprise 64% of the U.S. gross domestic product, and husband and wife teams run 1.4 million businesses nationwide.”
The numbers show the tremendous impact these businesses have on the economy –and how many families go into business together. Obviously, not all are husband and wife businesses, but a significant portion are:
When searching for a business partner, married people often consider their spouses. After all, they already share finances, communicate well, and know how to support one another.
If this sounds like you, you may be wondering if a husband and wife business is a good idea. This article will explore that question, giving you all the information you need to decide if you should launch a business with your spouse.
To start, let’s look at why a husband and wife business is such an appealing idea.
- Why Open a Husband and Wife Business?
- How Do Business Struggles Impact Your Relationship?
- What Can You Do to Keep Your Relationship Healthy?
Why Open a Husband and Wife Business?
It’s no surprise so many couples choose to join in entrepreneurial ventures.
There are a few reasons you might choose to launch a business with your spouse.
Good small businesses rest on good ideas.
Many small business owners launch their businesses because they strike upon a brilliant innovation or solution to a problem and want to bring it to the world. These ideas often come about as a result of conversation.
Husband and wife businesses are no expectation. Because spouses spend so much time talking with one another, they often come up with good ideas together.
When both people have contributed to and believe in a product idea, it makes sense that they would both want to be a part of the business.
Small business owners need to be able to reach one another frequently and easily.
For traditional partnerships, this can mean frequent meetings, phone calls, or email chains. These forms of communication are vital, but they can also be clunky and burdensome.
In a husband and wife business partnership, the need for these out-of-the-way forms of interaction is eliminated. Since spouses share a home, they can easily access one another when the need arises.
Additionally, the financial elements of the business are simplified. If the spouses share finances, they don’t have to worry about splitting profits or going through complicated tax procedures. It’s pretty common knowledge that married couples enjoy more tax benefits than single filers.
Not only can this help avoid the tremendously unjust wage gap between genders, but it also makes life easier from a business perspective, reducing the stress a business partnership can have on the owners.
Another benefit of husband and wife business owners is that they are likely good at supporting one another.
Part of any good romantic relationship is caring for one another. When you enter into a business partnership, you can bring this attitude to your spouse as a business partner as well.
Starting a business tends to be a bit of a rollercoaster. There is a lot to learn, and there are often numerous ups and downs throughout.
Having a partner who can be there to encourage you when you feel defeated can be extremely comforting.
Not only can this help you stay emotionally healthy, but it can encourage you to keep going when you would otherwise quit. This can be the difference between success and failure for a small business.
While running a business on your own is a tremendous undertaking, the simplicity of having only one person making the decisions leads many to go the solo route.
It takes a lot of communication to make a partnership run smoothly. This is an area where husband and wife businesses have an advantage.
Healthy marriages likely already have strong communication skills. While they may not pertain to business historically, couples can easily transfer these skills to their business practices as well.
From there, decision-making becomes more efficient than it would in a traditional partnership, all while benefiting from the insight of two people rather than just one.
How Can Business Struggles Impact Your Relationship?
All that said, there are a number of unique husband and wife business problems. Combining marriage and business can lead to some less than ideal effects if not properly managed.
Feel Like You’re Always Working
When you work with the same person you relax with, it can be hard to maintain a good work-life balance.
If you and your spouse grow used to constantly discussing your business, you may find that you feel like you’re always working. Even when you’re at home or out to dinner, you may be tempted to continue discussing business matters.
Over time, this can lead to an increased risk of burnout. You may feel like work is unending, causing you to grow stressed, irritable, and tired.
If your spouse is the one who constantly brings up work, it can make you feel as though you’re working for them. Not only can this lead to burnout as well, but it can also make you resentful and put a strain on your relationship.
Discussing business ideas can be harsh. Sometimes a partner pitches an idea that just won’t work.
In these scenarios, it’s imperative that you speak up and prevent the idea from being pursued. Failing to do so can waste time and resources that hurt your business.
When that partner is your spouse, this can lead to a difficult situation. Telling your spouse their idea won’t work can make them feel personally attacked.
If you can’t keep your emotions separated from your business, this can easily lead to hurt feelings. Over time, these feelings can distance you from your partner, both romantically and in your business.
Lack of Bluntness
On the other hand, sometimes you may struggle being honest with your spouse about the validity of their ideas.
If you worry too much about your partner’s emotions, you may not speak up when they propose bad ideas. Your care for them can overshadow your care for the business.
When this happens, resources get wasted pursuing ideas that just won’t work. This stalls your business growth and can even go so far as to sink your business entirely.
Couples who are particularly sensitive to criticism are most likely to struggle with this dynamic.
What Can You Do to Keep Your Relationship Healthy?
Avoiding the above-mentioned problems is imperative if you want to succeed in your business while keeping your marriage intact. Luckily, most problems can be avoided by following a few basic pieces of advice.
Maintain Work-Life Balance
Key to maintaining a romantic relationship while working together, you need to learn to separate your work from your home life.
While being in business with your spouse may benefit from the skills you used to build your relationship, the dynamic will almost certainly be different. You will need to be a bit blunter and probably a bit more demanding than you would be at home.
In order to keep things running smoothly at work while still keeping your marriage loving and supportive, you have to learn to keep the work dynamic out of your romantic partnership.
Set a rule that work talk has to cease at a certain point during the day. Both partners can set aside their work discussion and focus on being present with each other as people rather than business partners.
Delegate and automate as many routine (and often tedious or distractive) business tasks. This may include hiring a freelancer to write content for your website or landing pages.
For many small business owners who WFH or on the road (and don’t feel comfortable using their personal phone number for business calls), a virtual receptionist service is often a smart choice.
A virtual receptionist service helps add credibility to your business by adding to its professional appeal – as well as reducing privacy concerns with business calls flooding your mobile phones.
This will allow you and your spouse to have more quality time to spend together – and more time to work on the business instead of getting interrupted by calls all day.
Focus on Communication
If you start a husband and wife business, hurt feelings are almost inevitable.
Being able to communicate openly is crucial to moving past these hurt feelings and reconciling. You and your partner both need to be able to discuss how work events impact you emotionally.
If you are able to talk with one another, you can correct your dynamic and find a way of interacting that accomplishes your business goals while making you both feel loved.
If you haven’t started your business yet, agree beforehand to openly discuss what is working and what isn’t on a regular basis. By doing this, you’ll avoid any build-up of negative emotions in the first place.
If you’re already running your business with your spouse, talk to them about implementing a once-a-week meeting dedicated to emotional discussion. This will help you both feel heard and ensure you move forward in the healthiest way possible.
Don’t Be Afraid to Hire Help
While it can be helpful to delegate all the work between you and your partner initially, this can also lead to conflict and stress.
When you and your spouse are constantly sharing responsibilities, you increase the likelihood that you’ll step on each other’s feet. This can slow down your business operations and cause hurt feelings.
An easy solution is to bring in someone else.
Bringing in an assistant to help you handle two-person tasks can reduce the amount of crossover between you and your spouse. This can streamline your procedures and keep you from disagreeing with each other.
Another way to improve work-life balance is to consider the benefits of a virtual office address for your business. Working from home blurs the lines between business and life enough without having your home address on your website and/ or marketing assets.
Virtual Office Addresses can help provide your business with a more professional image, a respected address in a commercial district, and more privacy for you and your spouse or husband,
Over time, this third-person can have a huge impact on your marital health while helping you reduce your work stress.
Walk Away if Needed
Finally, you need to be prepared to sacrifice your involvement in your business if it comes to that.
While it can be great for some, working together doesn’t work for every couple. Sometimes no amount of communication can overcome this simple fact.
The same can be said for almost any workplace situation – particularly in an economy that is rapidly changing and professionals working in non-static environments. Challenges and the future will go hand in hand with future enterprise.
Not all couples are destined to work in business together. If you are unable to overcome serious business challenges that are threatening the success of your life together, it may be best to walk away to save your marriage or partnership.
For many, launching a husband and wife business is a great idea. Couples can bring the many beneficial qualities of their romantic relationship to their business interactions.
Every relationship is different. Only you know if you and your spouse will make good business partners.
If you decide you and your spouse should go into business together, do so carefully. Make sure you emphasize communication and work-life balance if you want to keep your business and your relationship healthy.