Tips for Running a Business with Your Spouse

By Claudia Young, Writing Intern

My husband and I run a photography business together. I love him dearly, but it creates some dissonance in our relationship sometimes. Working with your spouse is so much different than with regular coworkers because you have to find the line between work life and personal life. Here are a few things I’ve learned in the past two years that I think will help couples of any generation who are considering partnering in a business. 

Set aside “no work talk” hours

If you have a physical business address, do everything in your power to only talk about the business when you’re there. When you go home for the night, leave all that stress behind. If you’re like us and run your business from home, set aside hours where you aren’t allowed to talk business. Everyone needs a break from work, especially small business owners!

Split up the business tasks (and trust your spouse with theirs)

Trust and respect is vital when running a business with your spouse. Delegate tasks that you think your spouse will be great at and let them run with it! If you’re a Type A like me, don’t be afraid to ask how they’re doing with a task, but make sure not to hover over them as they work.

Don’t talk down about them in conversations with others

The easiest way to maintain balance and respect in your work relationship is to let them know when you’re frustrated with them instead of going to friends (or worse, customers/clients) and talking negatively about them. Even if it’s just a little joking comment, it isn’t professional or good for your relationship. Really, this goes for your personal relationship as well.

Find ways to relax in midst of the chaos

Running a small business is HARD, especially when you’re running it with someone you care about. Learn when to say no, take some time off, and enjoy your time together. Go on a date, take a vacation, or just sit down together and read a book. The more you foster your personal relationship and mental health, the easier it will be to get along during business hours.

Do you work with your spouse? How do you maintain balance? Leave tips for others in the comments.

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