Keeping Your Marriage Healthy While Running Your Businesses
Working with your spouse can be one of the most rewarding and also one of the most frustrating experiences in your life. In order to keep both your marriage and your businesses in working order, I have some tips I’d like to share with you.
Communicate About EVERYTHING
Not only is communication one of the key factors in your marriage, it is absolutely essential in your business! Nothing will cause a partner run business to fail faster than a lack of communication between those who run it. And when you add a partner that’s a spouse, this can affect you twofold. Miscommunication in your business can carry over and cause waves in your relationship, and any issues you are having with each other at home will most certainly make problems in the office. Get used to talking to each other, learn your partners office mannerisms. And follow the rest of these suggestions!
Decide On Responsibilities
Tom and I have hit a lot of bumps over the years . Bills one of us forgot to pay. Phone messages we forgot to return. Procrastinated on tasks we really should have done. Overlooking small details that caused a world of problems. What have we learned from all of these mistakes? Decide who does what best, and split responsibilities. Tom is not so good with the day-to-day small details (tenant phone calls, bookkeeping, etc.) so I take care of all of that. I manage our Warsaw Wine & Spirits store, he does more with Sylvester Enterprises. I’m not always good with setting up processes, he loves to make spreadsheets, write blogs, and look at the bigger picture! And that brings me to my next point…
Set Up A System That Works For You
Being an entrepreneur couple works best if you have a system. If one or both of you work full-time, you most likely don’t have a lot of time for everything else. Try to set aside time for specific tasks or meetings each week, as well as some personal time for yourselves. Tom made this easier by building us an amazing mega-desk that we share in our basement.
We have a Sunday meeting every week and go over anything each of us wants to discuss about the businesses. We are use a large desk calendar on our office wall to plan and manage important dates and goals.
We use Quickbooks for all of our bookkeeping, Dropbox and Google Drive for file sharing, and have various spreadsheets that help us keep track of certain data. Having the dual desk also allows for us to spend time together even while we’re working. It may not be your idea of a romantic date night, but if you need to get things done at least you can do it together!
Checks And Balances
Now that you’ve split your responsibilities and decided who’s taking care of what, you may still need to help your spouse keep on track every once in a while. Send each other email reminders or texts if there is something they are worried about forgetting. Set reminders for yourself if there are tasks you need to get done on certain dates. Tom is a huge fan of the GQueues application. It allows you to make lists, set email or text reminders for items on your list, or even assign those items to other GQueues members. If you don’t need a list application but you use Gmail, you can also set reminders on your calendar. Or if you’re like everyone else today and own a smart phone, you can even set them there. Whatever the need, have that safety net in place for yourself. Your business will run more smoothly if you are not always forgetting to do things!
Ask For Help
Sometimes I just get overwhelmed. Running the brick and mortar store, managing the books, taking tenant phone calls, writing blogs AND taking care of our 2-year-old?! One of my biggest mistakes was thinking that I could handle it all on my own. Sometimes Tom’s full-time job can be stressful, with the added responsibility of running 3 businesses, so there have been times that I tried to take care of things by myself instead of adding onto his already bad day. That lead to me eventually having a mental & emotional breakdown. Not only did my method of handling things cause me great stress, it also caused Tom more stress, because he felt guilty that I even got to that point. Don’t be afraid to talk to your spouse if you are getting overwhelmed! Ask them for help figuring out any issues you’re having, they may have a simple solution for you. If there is no simple solution, they can still talk things over with you so you don’t feel alone in dealing with the problem. You are in this business venture together, and whatever happens affects both of you. Talk things over, make decisions together. It will help your business and your relationship stay strong.