Most couples who start a business together think that if they simply know how to run a business with their spouse they will succeed. It helps to know how to run a business but that is not what makes couples entrepreneurs successful.
During the exciting phase of planning and dreaming about success together many couples forget the details of becoming a strong partnership. There are going to be many challenges while running a business as a couple. Most common are working insane hours, no play time and keeping your budget too tight.
There is a big difference between the feeling you get when you are talking about opening a business, where you dream about the possibilities of it all working out in your favor and the actual opening your business and making it work. The day you start a business together you will find your stress level jumping. That romantic feeling of planning is gone.
One thing that will help you become stronger together whether you are running a business together now or are just starting a business together is to mitigate as many stressors as possible. This is the planning that is usually forgotten.
1) The stress of finances keeps couples on edge. Many couples who have not talked about how much money they require in personal saving as a contingency for the family, not the business, find themselves fighting. Sure you can lend your business money from your savings, but have a boundary and say the business only gets this much money and not more. If you need more money, you have not examined where the hole in your business boat is and you must repair that, not throw more money at it.
2) Ownership papers. If you spouse is expected to help run, fund or do without so that you can build that dream business, then it is only fair to make them a partner. They are taking a risk with you. When there are partnership papers and everyone knows that they own a fair share of the company, it lowers stress. Agree up front on the ownership interest so that there is a feeling of fairness and alliance.
3) Commit to monthly accountability meetings and financial transparency with the business. If you say you will make a certain amount of calls per month or say you will complete something within that month, you owe it to your partners to hold your word to completing it. You should have a meeting every month to talk about accomplishments and what needs to be done as the next step. Planning this will relieve more stress then you know.
Nothing stress a partnership out more than using the “Fly by the seat of my pants” business owner mentality. If you want to lower the stress in your household, then have monthly or ever weekly meetings if it helps you both stay on track.