Business Partners & Marital Partners, Will the Marriage Survive? Part 1Written by Chuck & Sue DeFiore
With today's economy, and layoffs occurring as a result of these economic conditions, more and more people are opting to start their own business. Due to low start up costs, prevalence of home-based businesses is on rise, many of these started by husband and wife teams.
With move from corporate world to home-based, couples are finding that a new set of problems are occurring. In corporate arena, two major areas of importance are profits and communication with employees. This is done through evaluations, reviews, meetings, or a company newsletter outlining company policies and news. All administrators realize that a happy and informed employee is more efficient and productive; in effect, increasing their profits.
Research on martial separation and divorce indicates two of main causes of separation and divorce are communication and money, very much like corporate concerns. In past, spouses worked in their respective jobs, and came home to discuss what was going on in work place. In effect, they were sounding boards for one another. With move to home front, especially with starting up businesses together, sounding boards are gone.
In effect, placing couples in a start-up business can cause a myriad of problems, previously seen only in corporate world, in addition to normal stumbling blocks of starting up a business. Too many couples working together are not practicing good communication skills. Lack of communication, can cause one spouse to feel that he or she is carrying all business and monetary responsibility.
Keep Your Marriage Solid
If you and your spouse have decided to run a business together, be sure to discuss and outline following:
Delineate responsibility. Decide who is going to handle what business matters. In addition, be sure you both know how to accomplish these functions. Unfortunately, illness occurs - you need to be able to back up each other in all aspects of business. For example, if one of you does all bank statements, be sure your spouse understands how this is accomplished, so if necessary, they can also handle this responsibility. If you have a set procedure you follow and a way you want it done, make up an outline, so it is accomplished in manner you want.
Marketing, return calls, daily correspondence, invoicing, weekly and/or monthly expenses, supplies, calendaring, appointments, deposits, bank statements, implementation of business plan, attendance at meetings (e.g. Chamber mixers, National groups, User groups, etc.) all need to be taken care of. You will have to split these responsibilities between you. Again, be sure you know how each is implemented, so in an emergency, you can back each other up.
Business Partners & Marital Partners Will The Marriage Survive - Part IIWritten by Chuck & Sue DeFiore
In last article, we concluded by saying that keeping your business and personal relationships separate is very important to survival of both your business and your marriage. In this article we will talk about how to achieve this goal.
One of most important ways to accomplish this is to set up distinct business hours, and when they are over, don't discuss business, concentrate on your relationship. It is difficult, but make a concentrated effort at it. Confine your business discussions to business hours or set aside a specific time to discuss business.
For example, take last half hour of day, and discuss business day; any suggestions you have, what was accomplished, what needs to be done tomorrow, during week, how are monthly goals you set at beginning of month progressing. Remember to couch any criticisms or suggestions in a positive vein. Think of how you felt in work situation and how supervisors dealt with you when making suggestions. Negatives only cause resentment. They do in corporate arena, and even more so, when dealing with a spouse you must live with 24 hours a day. Be sure to set aside time for each other-go for walks, out to dinner, or just for a drive with your spouse. Do not discuss business.
You should have outside activities that are not business related. If not, join a group that interests you. It will allow you to meet with others who are not connected to your business. Running a home-based business can be very lonely; getting away from home, and having outside interests is imperative.
In addition to problems inherent to couples running a business, starting a home-based business presents its own set of problems and questions. Before you start be sure to ask yourself following:
1. Are you self-motivated? Organized? Able to prioritize your work? You will no longer have a supervisor or a boss to tell you what to do. You will be decision maker. You will have to motivate yourself. One way to accomplish this is to use a To Do List and stick to it. In addition, set definitive business hours, and stick to them.
2. Will you be able to deal with isolation? You will no longer meet people in halls, congregate around coffee pot, or take a break to talk with your co-workers. To combat loneliness and isolation be sure to join groups that meet outside home, or schedule luncheons with friends and associates.