Setting Attainable Business Goals With Your Spouse in 2021

Setting Attainable Business Goals With Your Spouse in 2021

Running a business with your spouse? Couples as business partners may seem like an ideal scenario, especially if you both already have an entrepreneurial background. We’ve heard of power couples dominating various business industries, but some strongly believe that this work-life bind with your spouse is a disaster in the making. Well, you'll be glad to know that couples in successful businesses together do not magically appear out of thin air. Instead, it is highly dependent on factors such as your work-life boundaries, habits, motivation, and the systems put up to make this work. 


Husbands and wives can think of developing a business venture as similar to that of having a newborn. It is a big leap for your relationship. Both will be required to work on separate tasks related to their strengths, carry out tasks together, and grow day-by-day with the newfound challenges they overcame. If all goes well, you look at your fast-growing toddler and realize that you and your spouse nailed that teamwork after all!


Now, if we put this into a business setting, couples in business together will only be effective when a bespoke strategy is placed which will balance your marriage and work life. In this article we will discuss various actionable ways you and your spouse can set up your perfect system: 

1. Lay it all out 

First, break down what you both tangibly want to achieve for the business. You both must be realistic about these goals and take your personal lives and other external factors into consideration. If you are having a baby, moving houses, or have any big agendas coming up, both of you should take this into account and begin to visualize the feasibility of these goals. Internal factors related to professional predispositions from your previous roles also should be considered. Can you work in a loud environment? How will you both hold each other accountable? It is important to establish this middle ground early on in the planning stages. 

How: An important question to ask each other is, “What is your motivation for this business?” Is it merely a gap you are trying to fill for your spouse’s venture? Is it a long-time dream for both of you? Being married business partners, this should be a fairly easy conversation to have. Both of you need to be eager to run this business before figuring out the best way to navigate it. 

2. Compliment each other's weaknesses, not strengths 

The idea of a business partner is to have someone there to help you fix any shortcomings or weak points. It could be that they have experience in financials, sales, customer acquisition, and you are responsible for the creative and branding elements. Your teamwork will be the defining factor that enables the business to grow onward. Otherwise, you may have to consider outsourcing or upskilling. Depending on the type of business you are running, try your best to meet halfway and delight in each other's strengths. Don't forget to cheer each other on in the process! 

How: Define your roles. It is important for couples in business to each have a clearly defined position or an acknowledged area of expertise, so the workload is separated. This also fosters a degree of independence for each individual in the workplace. Start thinking about roles such as:

  • Operation
  • Finance
  • Technology
  • Customer Success
  • Human Resources
  • Sales/Marketing

What if overlaps happen? Commonly, most couples have similar strengths. My husband Damon and I particularly share the same skillset: we both had strong expertise in marketing, finance, and technology. We own several businesses together. One of the challenges that we have experienced as we moved from working our MLM business together to a traditional business is, stepping on each other. We worked with a coach at that time who told us to create an organization chart and define who is in charge of each role. To this day, we believe that the titles don’t matter as much as who is responsible for each area of the business. As long as we both see progress in our work, we are happy with the business. 

3. Provide progress reports

The communication between couples in business together should be optimal as if it were in a professional setting because it is! Say your goal was to reach a certain amount of money or reach a certain number of responses to a campaign. It is imperative for the Account Lead to communicate the current climate of the business, including KPI progress reports. If one is handling the financials, monthly budget reports could be brought up at a meeting. Check-in and remind each other of your destination, and what you need to do to get there.

How: Take time to sit down as a business couple and go through various reports, concerns, and suggestions. Listen to each other, and respond respectfully, as though you are talking to a colleague, not the partner that you go home with. If an argument arises, know that bringing up personal matters is a big NO. Being out of sync is normal with your spouse, but make sure it is handled well and professionally.

4. Follow business-only boundaries

Recapping above, doing business with your spouse needs clear work-home boundaries. Time apart may seem nonexistent in the beginning so boundaries are hard to establish, however, the less attention you pay to consciously creating a "no business zone" when you are at home, the more your personal and business relationship will suffer. Don't sacrifice your marriage for the sake of business. When you’re married to your coworker, workplace etiquette can easily be forgotten. It is both your job to be conscious about this day-by-day, not only in your actions but also in your silent expectations as a partner that wants the best for your other half.

How: The best way to start having clear-cut boundaries, is to do it out of habit. It is important to attach cues to your bad habits, which could be talking out of line with your spouse, not listening with intent, etc. The more conscious you are to identify these cues and associate them with the feeling or result that the habit gives you, the less likely it will be for you to repeat them.

5. Reward your partner - as a partner! 

A perk, if I say so myself, is that my husband and I celebrate wins on a larger scale. We may share the same work dilemmas 30-40 hours a week, but you know what else we share? His wins. Or rather, our wins.

Once in a while, I reward him with a thoughtful gift or dinner out. Small wins, big wins, and every hurdle we face in between, we get to go through them together and we end up having a more profound appreciation for each other, in and out of the workplace. 

How: Be proud of each other - and show it! Celebrate the best way you know how to as a couple. There are endless possibilities, and it does not have to be extravagant, either. It just has to make them feel appreciated for the work that they have done. After all, happy employees create a thriving business.  


About the author, Sheles Wallace

Sheles is an award-winning business coach who gets results for her clients.

For over 15 years, she has helped business owners achieve their goals and

take their businesses to the next level. If you're ready to take the next

step in your business evolution and go from an owner who wears all hats to

creating a commercial, profitable enterprise that runs without you, find out

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