Sponsored by Chris Sacca:
Building a business with your spouse has so many great components to it. Consider things like focusing all of your collective energies toward one common goal and having your priorities align with your natural ability to work together. These can to steer your new business in the exact direction you have in mind.
Consider the fact that you already live together building a life. You jointly care for and manage your home, you discuss and handle your budget, and chances are you have or are in the process of building your family. By looking at collaborating on a business together, the similarities present themselves. It isn’t a far reach or even a difficult endeavor to build a thriving business with your spouse. The keys are to establish appropriate roles and set firm boundaries.
Find out What Each Person Brings to the Table
While you may be equal partners in your marriage and in your company, there still has to be certain positions where only one of you is responsible to have the final say when a situation occurs within that particular area. Yielding to that partner’s final decision is not a sign of weakness, but it demonstrates trust in their established capability and also provides a powerful foundation for the staff and customers you deal with on a daily basis. Determine early who will handle the specific duties such as:
- Budgeting and bookkeeping
- Human resources
- Client relations
It may sound odd, but as a married couple, you are already doing these duties in one capacity or another within your home life. Take some time to see how you’re running things in your personal lives, and find your natural talents so you can take them with you into the company. This continues the flow of positive relational advantages that keeps your marriage and your company strong.
Whichever one of you is best at numbers and balancing the books is the one who should be handling the finances at your company. Granted, as you grow, you will be able to hire a bookkeeper or accounting firm, but in the mom-and-pop stage of your small business, it’s a good idea to know how to handle the numbers and use the bookkeeping systems available to you.
Although only one of you needs to take on this large task, it’s important that both of you know how things are running at all times. A good way to do this is to sit together every morning and go over the previous day’s charges and income so you’re both aware of the status of the company and where you stand.
Just as one of you will excel at numbers, one of you will excel at people skills. This may be the same person or it may not. Everyone has a different set of skills and a different way of handling business. An executive who is fabulous at client relations isn’t always great at effectively dealing with staff. Someone who is comfortable with personnel issues and can effectively manage their employees with a gentle yet firm hand is the right spouse for that position. This person should always be the go-to for all personnel concerns and should have the final say in all decisions regarding human resources.
Finally, decide which one of you is strongest in client relations. The partner who is well-versed in the principles of the company, has a strong presence, and won’t take no for an answer is the right choice for this task.
Setting Firm Boundaries
Here’s where it may get a little tricky. While in the home environment, emotions and passions may come into play as you build your relationship, at work, professionalism must be paramount. Respecting each other’s positions and the roles that you’ve established will not make you strong leaders representing a united front to your employees and customers, it will also strengthen your professional relationship. There are no husband or wife roles when you’re working side-by-side. Feelings must sometimes be set aside when difficult decisions and tasks have to be tackled.
Look For Professional Role Models
When you want to find examples of strong couples who are able to work together and still successfully raise a family, look at billionaire Chris Sacca’s wife Crystal who works as a partner with her husband at their company, Lowercase Capital. This is an investment company that has effectively invested in now popular and highly successful technology businesses. While they have their own individual accomplishments, they have been able to come together with their unique talents to create their empire.
Go ahead! Dive into an exciting business with the one person you trust and respect more than anyone else. Support each other and tune into your personal strengths to build a business together and maybe even an empire.