So you’re thinking about starting a business with your partner?
Getting into business with the man, or woman, you get into bed with is no easy task. It’s not for everyone and it can be hard at times – but it was also easily the best thing Joe and I have ever done. Here are some things I wish I knew before we jumped into our business together that you might want to know before you do the same thing, too!
1. Having Pre-Defined Roles In The Business is KEY
So many businesses that I have either seen with my own two eyes, read or heard about that have failed when the life partners became business partners – were the businesses that started out without any clearly defined roles for each person. If you are both trying to always do the same thing you will drive each other batshit crazy. Have separate and clearly defined roles in order to live and work in harmony! In our business, I handle all the marketing, social media and am the “face” of the business. That means that I am seen and heard much more than Joe but his roles are vitally as important as mine. He is the coder and techy genius behind our entire girl boss movement. He also pays the bills, does the laundry, takes out the trash, does the dishes, manages all our funds, takes care of the dog and all the shit that I hate doing LOL! He is sooooo important to me and this business and it truly takes both of us holding strong in our individual roles to make this thing work.
2. Always Have A Plan For The “What If” Factors
No one likes to talk about the divorce before they jump into the marriage, but legally it’s best to have your bases covered for all the what ifs. It doesn’t have to be negative and you can do it quickly and easily, but I would recommend getting it on paper and in writing. You should know what were to happen if you break up and go your separate ways. Will you still run the business together? WIll one person buy the other out? You can do this on your own, but if you can do it – I would get a lawyer and set everything in stone.
3. Have Separate Offices Or Plan To Spend Some Time Apart
Since we live in a 400 sqft studio apartment in the Pacific Northwest, this was reallllly for us at first! But now that we have been living here and doing this for well over a year, we have a system down. I have done a LOT of work, especially podcasts and video recordings, in the closet and Joe has spent a lot of time at Starbucks and on our patio outside when it isn’t raining LOL. It truly is just zig and zag. I urge you though to make time for yourself to be apart. Your relationship and business will be better because of it!
4. Make Time To Talk About Things Other Than Work
The other night we went out to dinner and I swear, every other sentence I was bringing up The She Social Society this, the blog that. I finally caught myself and said – let’s challenge ourselves to talk about something new. Step number three of spending time apart can really help with this. If you take time away from one another it can give you lots of new things to discuss and make your conversations light, fun and more interesting.
5. Set Work Hour Boundaries And Set Aside Time Each Week For Play
Since the very beginning, Joe and I have been super adamant about this. Every single Friday is what we like to call our “day date day”. We usually start the day off with sleeping in a little, taking some time to get dressed and then head to one of the bajillion coffee spots here in Portland. The PNW is known for its massive amounts of coffee shops to choose from. We usually treat ourselves to a specialty latte and a bite to eat. Sometimes we just sit and talk or sometimes we make time for creative and inspiring work. After a few hours, we then start to gather our things and hit the town for dinner, drinks and bonding time. It is my most favorite day of the week and it is an absolute non-negotiable for us. We don’t schedule calls and we limit our work. This has been a saving grace for our work and personal relationship and I am so glad we set this up early on!
Do you run a business with your partner? Have you been thinking about starting a business with your partner? We would love to hear from you! Drop us a comment below or send us a message on The Gram!! We look forward to connecting with you more!
Courtney + Joe