Are you and your spouse currently in business together? Or are you considering opening a business with your significant other? One of the best ways to avoid potential problems brought on by being in business together is to develop a plan to avoid financial conflicts. Couples who are proactive in their approach to sound business financial planning tend to have fewer conflicts over business matters and a better work/life balance. If you want to avoid fretting over business matters, consider integrating the following financial planning tips for spouses into your modus operandi.
Commit to each other to discuss business financial matters at the office. Even if it is a 10-minute mini business meeting at the end of each day, keep conversations about your business’ finances restricted to the office. Don’t talk about the company on your ride home from work. Don’t discuss financial matters about your business over the dinner table or on weekends. Get a framed piece of artwork that says, “What happens at the office stays at the office,” and display it prominently in your home. One of the fastest ways to bring stress and tension to your personal relationship is to discuss your business’ finances at home.
Business investments should require agreement between you and your spouse. It is not okay for you to spend company money on something you think your business needs, nor is it okay for your spouse to spend business funds without discussing it with you first. When you both have a clear understanding of your company’s expenditures, there are no nasty surprises from your business that can bleed into your personal relationship. Just like a romantic relationship requires honest communication, so too does a business partnership between spouses.
Have monthly meetings with your spouse to discuss how you are feeling about the business. Chart Westcott, the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Ikarian Capital, LLC, says, “Maintaining open lines of communication and regular progress updates can keep you in check with each other’s ideas.” Are you happy with sales to-date and confident about the financial direction of your business? Are you noticing opportunities your competitors are taking advantage of and think you and your spouse should consider the same opportunities? These monthly meetings not only offer an opportunity to make sure you and your spouse are both on the same page as far as the business goes, but they also give you an opportunity to plan for the financial future of your company. “These conversations can help you avoid roadblocks before they arise too,” says Chart Westcott.
Working with your spouse and having a romantic relationship with them can be a powerful example to others of what it takes to build a strong partnership. Your joint ventures in life and love can be remarkable, or they can be awful. It is up to you and your partner to develop a plan of action that helps you build a thriving business while allowing you to create deep bonds at home too. Incorporate these financial planning tips for romantic business partners into your company building efforts, and you won’t let your business dealings impact your personal relationship.