pros and cons of running a business with your partner

Have you toyed with the idea of running a business with your partner/husband/wife? I’m talking about living and working with your spouse full-time.

I know a lot of people’s immediate response is ‘no way’, but there are also some couples out there, who like Morgan and I, consider it. Or in our case, we did back in 2020.

Casey and Morgan SEO Specialists in Portarlington Bellarine Peninsula

For us, there just seemed to be so many pros. If we both worked for our own business it meant we could both be present with our two kids and be really involved in their upbringing, we could live and work from anywhere (with an internet connection of course), we could work our own hours and have flexibility. Plus, now that we are established and in demand, it means we can choose who we work with. As our services are on a retainer basis – it’s so important to us to be working with great people and businesses.

Funnily enough, we get asked about what it’s like working together all the time. Which is why I thought it was about time we popped up a blog about it. So sit back and get ready for some raw details on what it has been like for us, living, working and raising kids together.

TL;DR – The honest truth

At the end of the day, it really is going to come down to your personalities singularly and together. Running a business with your partner comes with challenges and perks, just as any job would.

In my opinion, you don’t know until you try. So give it a go, and make sure you have a backup plan in place.

There have been a handful of times I have thought about shutting up shop in order to save our marriage from going down the sinkhole. But then we have taken five and incorporated some of the below tips so we can run a successful business and also have a happy marriage.

Keep lines of communication open 24/7

It’s important you are both open and honest at all times. Do not let little things fester, as they will turn into big problems. Trust me!

I am a bit of a perfectionist at times, and I know my little tweaks and changes have driven Morgan crazy at times. Most times it has ended up in an argument in all honesty. But once it’s out in the open, we could then deal with it.

Plus it’s so important to leave any work conflicts in the office, don’t take them home and bring them up over dinner.

Communication is absolutely key. Talk about what you like, what you don’t like, what you are struggling with. If verbal communication is hard, then work out a digital way to do it. I know this might sound so Millennial however you’ve got to do what works for both.

Internally for us, we use Asana a lot of task management, Google Calendar and we also use Google Gmail Chat. Plus four days a week we do an hour walk along the Bellarine Rail Trail after we drop the kids off at daycare, we use this time to talk about all sorts of things including what we are working on currently. It’s a bit of a ‘walking team meeting’ which we both really enjoy.


Know each other’s strengths and play to those

Morgan joined the business in 2020 with no SEO or Google Ads training, he is a boat builder by trade. Let me just say training people is not my forte, especially when it is my romantic partner – I seemed to have a lot less patience than when I had to train people back when I worked for an agency!

However over time, we have got to know what Morgan’s strengths are, what he enjoys doing and where he can add extra value to the business that I can’t.

When people are doing something they enjoy, it makes them a happier person and also those around them. Therefore when we are working out who does what in our business, we look at each other’s strengths and what they enjoy doing.

Know when to switch off & set boundaries

Personally, I am still working on this one. It is very easy to talk about work 24/7, but you do need to have some boundaries. Here are a few things I have found to help with this:

  • Have a separate office space and ensure laptops and any work phones are back in this space before you ‘close’ for the day/week
  • Have working hours, naturally when working for yourself these are flexible, however for example we have an 8pm cut off Mon-Thurs. No working past 8pm and 3:30pm-6:30pm is spent with the kids
  • Incorporate some fun, team-building time into your work hours. For example, we try to do a lunch out locally on Fridays to start decompressing for the weekend and I also love to get Morgan making Reels with me (this is maybe one of the parts of his job he doesn’t enjoy as much!)

The last point I am really passionate about, as I believe it has really helped us. We were for a while doing coffee mornings out once a week at local cafes here on the Bellarine and in Geelong. It was great to get out and about and have a new change of scenery for the morning. We have now swapped this for morning walks as we’re both working on our health and fitness a bit more this year.

Alone time is good

Morgan and I don’t have a huge amount of alone time, but we also do. If the kids are home on a work day, then one of us is with the kids and the other will be in the office.

On days when both kids are in daycare, we are together, however we typically work in different parts of the house as our current office is too small. Which is actually probably a good thing. We have our time apart, even if it’s only a few hours here and there.

I feel like we do have a good balance of ‘business partner’ time together and also alone time which keeps our sense of self intact.

Is the risk & reward worth running a business with your partner?

For us, our family, our marriage is not worth sacrificing for the sake of our business. We love our business as it allows us to live this amazing life we live, however we know that it won’t be successful if we’re not working together behind the scenes.

Running a business involves ups and downs, no matter who you are in business with. I have no doubt that Morgan and I still have many challenges ahead of us, however I feel confident we will get through these as we continue to grow our business together.

Similar Posts