Starting a family business can be a rewarding experience for motivated entrepreneurs. A family business offers the reward of knowing your coworkers and having a shared vision for the future.
However, keeping business in the family can put a strain on the relationship between spouses. Not only does a family business blur the fine line between work and home lives, but it could also put one spouse in a subordinate position to the other.
With those pitfalls in mind, it’s important to find a working relationship with your spouse that prioritizes respect and keeping work at work. Getting this relationship in order will allow you to start maximizing your business.
Here are five tips and tricks to make you and your spouse’s working relationship stay on track.
1.) Maintain Respect for One Another
Family business offers entrepreneurs free range to form the work culture they want. But it’s still essential to maintain a degree of dignity and mutual respect with a coworker, especially when that coworker is your spouse.
An excellent working relationship with your spouse means valuing the work they contribute to the business and showing respect and thanks when deserved.
Always remember to say “please” and “thank you” for your spouse’s help. Just as important, respect your spouse’s time and work schedule by maintaining frequent communication and providing them reasonable requests.
2.) Hold the Line on Work/Life Balance
Maintaining a healthy balance between your professional and personal lives can already be difficult without starting a family business. But those challenges increase exponentially when you meld your family life into running a small business.
A tip to help you keep balance is to mutually decide hours of the day in which you will not talk about work. Take those hours to talk about each other’s lives and other topics that interest you.
3.) Maintain Separate Work Areas
If you start working with a spouse, you may find your home or shared workspace to be confining. For the first time, you may suddenly find yourself around your spouse all day with little room to breathe.
It’s essential that spouses who feel stifled by working near each other find spaces to work that gives them a degree of separation during the day. Having separate rooms in the house or even having one spouse work half the day out of a local coffee shop can be great options.
4.)Find Some Alone Time in Your Routine
Part of what makes a relationship work is a couple’s sense of individuality apart from one another. If two spouses simply shared every experience, there would be little room for discussion and growth.
When working with your spouse, prioritize your time apart from one another as an opportunity for reflection. Take an hour or two to go for a walk or read a book.
5.) Focus on Your Marriage
At the root of running a successful family business and keeping your spouse happy is doing the little things to keep your marriage a happy one.
Just because you work together doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still treat your spouse with respect, love, and a shared vision for your future.
By treating your union as the top priority over the business, you can find happiness in both.