Ode to the co-working couples: Advice on working together

Ode to the co-working couples: Advice on working together

For the week that's in it, we thought it would be nice to write an honest piece on what it is like for a couple to run a business together. It’s a very true reality for people in business these days to enter into a partnership professionally with their other half. And as we all know it’s not always plain sailing. Shane and I have run a business together for just under 2 years, and have certainly had to face new challenges as a couple and navigate new territory, both personally and professionally.

As we sat down to write this we realised that there were two people in our lives who were much more qualified to be writing this. Two people who showed us that running a business with your other half is not only possible but can also be really enjoyable; Tim and Josie Finn, Shane’s parents. 

Tim and Josie started Curtain Call in January 1994. They successfully ran a business together for 30 years, while managing to raise 3 kids and maintain a home, without killing each other :) So we think they are more than qualified to share their pearls of wisdom on the topic.

With their years of experience and wealth of knowledge we asked them what their advice would be to couple who work together. Here’s some of their top tips:

Keep the Man In the Van 

Self-employed life comes with wearing many hats, so sometimes it is better to divide and conquer. For Tim and Josie, her role was centred within the store, designing and handmaking the curtains, while Tim was out in the van mostly measuring and fitting. Having separate roles and responsibilities within a business can allow you to feel like you are not working in each other pockets and give you space and distance when needed.

Always Agree to Disagree

When it comes to working together, it’s natural that you won’t always agree. When the clashes do arise, try to hear each other out and understand the other’s point of view. If you still can’t find common ground, walk away from it and let it go. No point in clinging on to disagreements, it will get you nowhere. 

Keep Smiling 

No matter what is going on behind the scenes, customers are here for the in-store experience. A smile can go a long way and leave a lasting impression.

Make sure both parties can cook a dinner

There will always be an odd day that someone has to work late so make sure that you can both cook a dinner or help out around the house so that part of your relationship isn’t just dependent on one person.

Try not to “talk shop’ when you are off-duty

This part is difficult, work takes up the majority of your day, and it’s where you spend most of your time, your lives as business partners are intertwined with your lives as life partners, but where possible try not to talk shop a home. Home is a place to relax, feel safe and not a place where work and work problems follow you. 

Deal with any work-related problems ASAP. 

As much as you try, they won’t go away so deal with them as soon as they occur so that you can move on. Letting things sit can often make the issue greater and cause friction.

Hope you find this helpful? Feel free to share any pearls of wisdom with us through our Instagram DMs, we love to hear from others about their experiences.

Bec & Shane

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