Recently, I was interviewed by Kate Ashford, a BBC journalist, on the topic of entrepreneurial couples. After giving examples of some success stories, she talked about how it’s quite a gamble going into business with your romantic partner, especially if your work ethics are very different. (Read the entire article here: Going into business with your husband.)
Here are twelve things she learned after interviewing various experts including myself.
1. Wait until you’ve been married awhile so you know how you and your spouse will handle ups and downs.
2. Build a good foundation of respect and trust with your spouse first.
3. Acquire good business skills such as money management, accounting, reading a profit-and-loss statement.
4. Treat the business seriously and write a solid business plan, drawing up necessary contracts and legal partnerships. (Writing it down tricks the brain into thinking about what could happen that you should plan for.)
5. Create an exit strategy for business failure, divorce, or physical impairment due to an accident or illness.
6. Outline how children will fit into the mix.
7. Hire a tax professional to set the business structure up properly.
8. Create a strategy where both partners are aware of the money flow.
9. Designate roles according to the strengths and weaknesses of each partner.
10. Give each other alone time.
11. Keep your business and personal lives separate by creating a trigger routine that switches your roles. For example, one couple gives each other a big hug to remind them that they’re a romantic couple from this time until the next working day.
12. Make time for yourselves as a couple, as a family, as individuals.
There will be things that you have to put on hold until the business gets off the ground, and, if you’re not careful, you’ll find that your personal life no longer is working.
Are you an entrepreneurial couple and you find you’ve lost your work/home balance and want to get it back before it’s too late? If you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA please contact my office and schedule an appointment. Or take advantage of my remote education for Entrepreneurial Couples. Learn more about that here.