How to Start a Business as a Couple, Aww! <3

business couple

We all know that the benefits of starting a business with a loved one seem obvious: You’re working with someone that you trust, and whom you already you enjoy spending time with. There are plenty of high profile success stories- Cisco, Slideshare, and Popsugar were all started by couples-to serve as inspiration for marrying business and love. But even the best partnerships can be strained by the stresses of running a business. Finding dedicated time for a relationship when there are shared work responsibilities to be delegated, staff to be managed, and conflicts to be resolved is no joke. And that’s why when things go wrong, perhaps nobody has it worse than partner who are both in love and in business. The stakes can be so much higher.

Let’s take an example, Heather and Allan Staker used to have date nights. Then the married couple launched a startup together. “Friday date night would turn into eating Indian food in front of our laptops” Heather says. “I was starting to feel overwhelmed – we were always together, but we were always working. I went to see a life coach, who told me, “you’ve got to stay in love with each other, apart from your business.” So they came up with a rule; No computers on date nights. It wasn’t easy, but they stuck to it. And with technology banished, their special dinners became a time to connect and talk as spouses rather than as cofounders.

So how can you start a business as a couple successfully?

-          Start with A Plan

  • For many couples, starting a business together feels natural: The idea most likely came out of the relationship. One example is that a couple can start to figure all of the work together and sort them out into tasks for each individual in the relationship. What do we mean by that? Have the husband work a series of tasks while the wife works on another series of tasks. Plan out these tasks together, and then assign them whoever does the tasks.


-          Keep It Professional

  • Once a couple both go full time together for their business, there would be constant closeness between the two. Although the privacy for the both of them to be intimate with each other is going to be less than before, it is still necessary to stay professional for the sake of the employees and the business. Keeping it professional instead of calling each other “babe” or other silly words would make the work environment more product, you never know, one of your employees may be feeling lonely with their love lives.


-          Set Expectations Early

  • Before pouring all your coupled energy into a budding business, it’s important to set parameters of where work ends and where life begins. For the Staker’s (Indian Food example), the no laptop rule was a romance life saver and it inspired additional at-home rules. For some others, the marriage becomes all about the work- and that can be ok too. An added benefit of married business partners is not being nagged on the weekend or on vacation to unplug, as spouses often do. A cofounder gets how impossible that is – and they’re right there next to you, clicking through emails. Make plans to do things together other than work to keep the relationships alive while keeping the business running well.


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