One of my email subscribers recently sent me a note asking for my thoughts on how he could involve his wife in his business.
He was stuck on how to approach the subject and work out what to do to make this happen.
I’ve been working with my other half full time since 2016 and we’ve had our ups and downs, so as I started typing my reply, I realised I had a LOT of thoughts about this topic!
1 – The first question I would ask is – does your wife / husband / partner want to get involved with the business?
That’s a really important one.
If they do, great.
If they don’t, I would suggest that you find another solution – virtual assistant, phone answering services etc.
2 – Secondly, start to write down everything you currently do.
You can both then sit down and go through the list. Talk through what areas / tasks they could, or would want, to help with.
Try to be as granular as possible. Don’t forget that you’re not only answering the phone, but you’re booking appointments, you’re identifying parts, you’re adding files and photos to jobs, you’re doing quotes, sending invoices, chasing for payment.
Try to write all of these down, no matter how small.
This will also help your other half (and anyone else) to understand just how much you’re juggling at the moment and the pressure you’re under.
3 – Next, for each of the tasks you both think they could help with, look at how that might work – would you need to change anything to allow them to take over that task?
- How would they do it?
- What steps would they take?
- Do you have a process for them to follow?
- A script for them to use?
You might need to change your technical setup – for example, if you decide that they could answer the phone some, or all of the time, then you’ll need a way of routing the calls to either your mobile, or a phone that they have access to.
That’s a good place to start.
Communication and Your Relationship
The next thing to think about is talking through the communication and relationship side together.
How will you both deal with conflict and disagreements?
How will you set boundaries?
Can you agree in advance what your ‘working hours’ and ‘relationship hours’ are?
Can you agree in advance that you’ll have a trial period? Perhaps a back-up plan too.
Perhaps also find a date that you have a regular catch up so that you can both sit down together and work through any questions or things that have come up.
Working with your partner is not for everyone.
At times, my OH and I have been ready to strangle each other. It’s put a strain on our relationship at points.
Your relationship is much more important than working together – I promise you can find other people to help if you find that it’s not working out.
But, if you put the preparation in and you cover the possible issues before you both get into it, then you’ll have a much clearer idea of what to do in different situations and a very good chance of building a good team and successful business 😊
Do you work with your spouse? Do you have any tips you can add?