The more than 28 million small businesses in America employ half of the working population. Of those businesses, a quarter—some 7 million—are run by entrepreneurs working from home. And rather than go it alone, many home-based entrepreneurs partner up with a significant other.
“Working from home with your spouse can be a challenge in many ways, but it’s rewarding and undoubtedly worth it to succeed with your significant other,” says Peter Champe, who co-owns two companies with his wife, Elise. “However, to balance work, home and your marriage, it’s important to think ahead and plan your business carefully, deciding what will work and what won’t.”
Together the Champes have built Baby Comfy Care and Eclipse Sun Products, earning placement for their healthy goods in Walgreens stores nationwide, despite encountering the challenges faced by every growing company while also negotiating a husband-and-wife relationship.
Here are the Champes’ three rules to succeeding in a home-based business with your significant other:
1. Separate home and work. When your office is at your house, it is easy to blur the lines between what’s business and what’s personal. Create timetables that ensure neither facet of your lives suffers from a lack of attention.
2. Maintain respect. While you are working in your home, it’s important to remember to respect your partner—say please and thank you. Forgetting common manners can hurt both your marriage and business in the long run.
3. Stay strong. Recognize what each person excels at and stick to your strengths. Separate the business into sections and stay there, trusting your partner to do his or her share. Maintain your individuality while working as a couple to succeed.