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Top 10 tips for married couples running a business together

With a down economy, more and more couples are choosing to go into business together, but there are some basic rules that should be followed to keep a marriage in tact.



couple cofounders

couple cofounders

Bucking age old advice

We’ve all heard the oft-told advice, never date a person you work with. But what happens when you own a business with someone you’re married to? Not only are you tasked with making your marriage work, but now that person is in the trenches alongside you as you face the trials that come along with running a successful business. Although this person may drive your crazy at times, if you and your spouse work together, you have to develop a game plan for how both of you can work together and succeed. Here are the top 10 tips for married couples running a business.

Tip one: work it out

Respectfully work through your disagreements– When you’re tasked with running a business together, the stakes are high and may make the both of you on edge. Try to remain level-headed and civilly talk through any arguments. This is your business, not your living room.

Tip two: walk it off

Learn when to walk away– When you aren’t able to remain calm, walk away. A few minutes to yourself will help you cool off and return in a mood more conducive to problem solving. Keep this rule in mind and agree on it in advance, and always respect each others’ need to walk away.

Tip three: communicate

Improve your communication skills– Clearly and concisely sum up the key things that you have to say so that your spouse can easily understand and intelligently respond.

Tip four: keep ’em separated

Try to keep your work and love life separate– Last night you may have argued about him not picking up his phone or her spending all of her free time with her friends, but neither of those discussions have anything to do with how you’re going to improve sales this quarter. During working hours, only discuss things that directly affect your business and save the lovers’ quarrels for later.

Tip five: man up

Don’t be passive aggressive– If there is a relationship issue that may negatively affect your ability to work together, come outright and discuss it. Answering “oh, nothing” when your spouse asks if anything is wrong or leaving catty notes is petty. Have the discussion in as brief a manner as possible and try to get to a place where you both can be productive and of value for the rest of the work day.

Tip six: be clear

Define your roles– Outline who is responsible for what responsibilities. If you’re a math whiz and she’s a great communicator, then divvy up the accounting and marketing responsibilities respectively. By clearly outlining who does what, both of you are less likely to drop the ball.

Tip seven: remember your roots

Remember why you decided to work together– When difficulties arise, remember the qualities that made you decide to work with your partner. They may goof every now and then but know that they have a lot to bring to the table in term of benefiting your business.

Tip eight: forgive, forget

Be forgiving– Everyone makes mistakes, so don’t rip your spouse’s head off if they mess up. As long as it isn’t a re-occurring problem, learn from the mistake and build processes to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Tip nine: no nagging

Don’t nag– both of you probably hear enough nagging around the house so it’s best not to bring it into the workplace. If there are tasks that need to be done, schedule a meeting where you can discuss these items and delegate who needs to do what.

Tip ten: take time

Know when to give each other some space– you’re spending virtually all of your time with this person which can start to be overwhelming. Taking some time to be apart helps to fight against the monotony and allows both of you to come back with new, interesting concepts that you thought of while you were apart.

The takeaway

By following these tips, you and your spouse can co-exist peacefully and continue to combine your unique skill sets to better your business.

Destiny Bennett is a journalist who has earned double communications' degrees in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as a certification in Business from The University of Texas at Austin. She has written stories for AustinWoman Magazine as well as various University of Texas publications and enjoys the art of telling a story. Her interests include finance, technology, social media...and watching HGTV religiously.

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  1. 365frederick

    August 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    From someone who has been happily married for 26 years, and worked with hubs for half of them… these are great tips. Being clear and defining rolls is so helpful… that way things don’t fall through the cracks.

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Business News

This web platform for cannabis is blowing up online distribution

(BUSINESS NEWS) Dutchie, a website platform for cannabis companies, just octupled in value. Here’s what that means for the online growth of cannabis distribution.



A small jar of cannabis on a desk with notebooks, sold online in a nicely made jar.

The cannabis industry has, for the most part, blossomed in the past few years, managing to hit only a few major snags along the way. One of those snags is the issue of payment processing, an issue compounded by predominantly cash-only transactions. Dutchie, a Bend, Oregon company, has helped mitigate that issue—and it just raised a ton of money.

Technically, Dutchie is a jack-of-all-trades service that creates and hosts websites for dispensaries, tracks product, processes orders, keeps stock of revenue, and so much more. While it was valued at around $200 million as recently as summer of 2020, a round of series C funding currently puts the company at around $1.7 billion—approximately 8 times its worth a mere 8 months ago.

There are a few reasons behind Dutchie’s newfound momentum. For starters, the pandemic made cannabis products a lot more accessible—and desirable—in states in which the sale of cannabis is legal. The ensuing surge of customers and demand certainly didn’t hurt the platform, especially given that Dutchie is largely responsible for keeping things on track during some of the more chaotic months for dispensaries.

Several states in which the sale of cannabis was illegal also voted to legalize recreational use, giving Dutchie even more stomping ground than they had prior to the lockdown.

Dutchie also recently took on 2 separate companies and their associated employees, effectively doubling their current staff. The companies are Greenbits—a resource planning group—and Leaflogix, which is a point-of-sale platform. With these two additions to their compendium, Dutchie can operate as even more of an all-in-one suite, which absolutely contributes to its value as a company.

Ross Lipson, who is Dutchie’s co-founder and current CEO, is fairly dismissive of investment opportunities for the public at the moment, saying he instead prefers to stay “focused with what’s on our plate” for the time being. However, he also appears open to the possibility of going public via an acquisition company.

“We look at how this decision brings value to the dispensary and the customer,” says Lipson. “If it brings value, we’d embark on that decision.”

For now, Dutchie remains the ipso facto king of cannabis distribution and sales—and they don’t show any plans to slow down any time soon.

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Business News

Ford adopts flexible working from home schedule for over 30k employees

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ford Motor Co. is allowing employees to continue working from home even after the pandemic winds down. Is this the beginning of a trend for auto companies?



Woman in car working on engineering now allowed a flexible schedule for working from home.

The pandemic has greatly transformed our lives. For the most part, learning is being conducted online. At one point, interacting with others was pretty much non-existent. Working in the office shifted significantly to working remotely, and it seems like working from home might not go away anytime soon.

As things slowly get back to a new “normal”, will things change again? Well, one thing is sure. Working from home will be a permanent thing for some people as more companies opt to continue letting people work remotely.

And, the most recent company on the list to do this is Ford Motor Co. Even after the pandemic winds down, Ford will allow more than 30,000 employees already working from home to continue doing so.

Last week, the automaker giant announced its “flexible hybrid model” schedule to its staff. The new schedule is set to start in the summer, and employees can choose to work remotely and come into the office for tasks that require face-to-face collaborations, such as meetings and group projects.

How much time an employee spends in the office will depend on their responsibilities, and flexible remote hours will need to be approved by an employee’s manager.

“The nature of work drives whether or not you can adopt this model. There are certain jobs that are place-dependent — you need to be in the physical space to do the job,” David Dubensky, chairman and chief executive of Ford Land, told the Washington Post. “Having the flexibility to choose how you work is pretty powerful. … It’s up to the employee to have dialogue and discussion with their people leader to determine what works best.”

Ford’s decision to implement a remote-office work model has to do in part with an employee survey conducted in June 2020. Results from the survey showed that 95% of employees wanted a hybrid schedule. Some employees even reported feeling more productive when working from home.

Ford is the first auto company to allow employees to work from home indefinitely, but it might not be the only one. According to the Post, Toyota and General Motors are looking at flexible options of their own.

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Business News

Unify your remote team with these important conversations

(BUSINESS NEWS) More than a happy hour, consider having these poignant conversations to bring your remote team together like never before.



Woman working in office with remote team

Cultivating a team dynamic is difficult enough without everyone’s Zoom feed freezing halfway through “happy” hour. You may not be able to bond over margaritas these days, but there are a few conversations you can have to make your team feel more supported—and more comfortable with communicating.

According to Forbes, the first conversation to have pertains to individual productivity. Ask your employees, quite simply, what their productivity indicators are. Since you can’t rely on popping into the office to see who is working on a project and who is beating their Snake score, knowing how your employees quantify productivity is the next-best thing. This may lead to a conversation about what you want to see in return, which is always helpful for your employees to know.

Another thing to discuss with your employees regards communication. Determining which avenues of communication are appropriate, which ones should be reserved for emergencies, and which ones are completely off the table is key. For example, you might find that most employees are comfortable texting each other while you prefer Slack or email updates. Setting that boundary ahead of time and making it “office” policy will help prevent strain down the road.

Finally, checking in with your employees about their expectations is also important. If you can discuss the sticky issue of who deals with what, whose job responsibilities overlap, and what each person is predominantly responsible for, you’ll negate a lot of stress later. Knowing exactly which of your employees specialize in specific areas is good for you, and it’s good for the team as a whole.

With these 3 discussions out of the way, you can turn your focus to more nebulous concepts, the first of which pertains to hiring. Loop your employees in and ask them how they would hire new talent during this time; what aspects would they look for, and how would they discern between candidates without being able to meet in-person? It may seem like a trivial conversation, but having it will serve to unify further your team—so it’s worth your time.

The last crucial conversation, per Forbes, is simple: Ask your employees what they would prioritize if they became CEOs tomorrow. There’s a lot of latitude for goofy responses here, but you’ll hear some really valuable—and potentially gut-wrenching—feedback you wouldn’t usually receive. It never hurts to know what your staff prioritize as idealists.

Unifying your staff can be difficult, but if you start with these conversations, you’ll be well on your way to a strong team during these trying times.

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