How to: cope when you’re married to your business partner

by Erika Torres

The married life is notoriously stressful, a bond between two people that has the potential to crumble at the first sign of them moving in opposite directions. Like a failing business, you’ve got to get out when the chips are down.

But, again like a business, a lot of people manage to keep their marriage afloat. Hell, some even enjoy themselves.

What if marriage wasn’t just a bit like a business? What if you actually were in business with your other half?

That’s real love, the ability to argue about overheads and still sleep soundly together at night.

Romance will have to be put aside in favour of pure pragmatism.

With that in mind, we’ve concocted a few tips and tricks for you if you’re a couple running a small business. Bear them in mind and try to keep your work separate from your marriage.

Set up shop

Working from home as a couple is seldom a good idea. Without time spent away from the family nest, you’ll both grow tired of each other. A better investment is to find a shop to let that’ll give you a clear separation between your home and working life.

This is a balancing act. A business property will become one of the largest overheads in any enterprise, especially when utilities are taken into account.

What’s more, there’s every chance you’ll choose the wrong property. You’ll try to set up a vintage clothes shop on an industrial estate, or a steelworks in your city’s cultural quarter.

For sound advice, you’ll need a letting agency you can trust, which is no easy feat. We’d recommend Shop Property, which features comprehensive information about each property you view. So you won’t be caught out by a dodgy letting agent again.

Separate finances

When your business and personal relationships intertwine, there’s every chance your finances will too. You’ll take a bit of cash from your savings account and funnel it into your company. You’ll borrow some money from your partner’s dad to cover a loss in profits from the previous month.

Pretty soon your accounts will be in a mess and your company will be beholden to your personal finances. It’s a dicey situation, so don’t allow it to happen.

Compromise is key

In any business partnership, you’ll sometimes have to compromise in key topics of discussion. You’re not a bullish entrepreneur, the Richard Branson of your postal code area. You’re a married couple trying to make things work in both your home and working life.

Make sure you remember that you’re in a partnership, but don’t be worried about arguing your stance.

With the appropriate separation between work and married life, you’ll have a business and a relationship that’s stronger than ever.


Nathan March 27, 2016 - 7:40 am

My wife and I worked together a two companies when we were younger. In the end we decided it was too tough to be on the same work teams. We found that all we talked about was the office. We had lost our personal relationship. For this reason we chose to not work together. I think the best approach to take if you want to work together is to setup ground rules and stick to them. Otherwise, it’s too easy to blur the lines between business and personal.

James March 26, 2016 - 8:59 pm

I think one that helps in this type of situation in married life is setting a priority and balance among tasks. I know it’s hard to do, but a couple with clear purpose in mind would do everything it takes to make it work.


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