Like so many other small businesses, our clients are often made up of family members; whether that be couples, siblings, parent/child or second cousins-twice-removed. These people are often who you trust most and might be the most flexible when it comes to salary negotiations! Club Sandwich, too, is a family business run by [self-proclaimed] power couple, Kateena (the HR nerd) and Aaron (the sandwich lover).
So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’ve wrapped up our top tips on how to navigate working with your significant other (because we’ve totally got it all figured out *wink*).
You may think that they have listened to you talk about all the intimate details of your business and heard why certain things are the way they are, but this doesn’t mean they’ve been considering these aspects with the lens of someone inside the business.
There will also be things you haven’t needed them to be across when they were a mere support person, but now they’re on the inside, the font you use or the way you answer the phone are important titbits to pass on!
As we said up top, you’ve likely brought your partner on board because you trust them, so they’re probably going to form a pretty important part of the team. [Just like any other team member] it’s important you both understand what is required for each of your roles, and that you have ownership of different aspects of the business. There is likely going to be crossover and joint decision-making required, but if you’re each clear on your turf from the start, it will make allocating work and resources easier as your go!
We find that having set meeting times throughout the week (that mostly coincide with the times we’re taking our pup for a run at the dog park) with specific agendas mean we stay across what the other is working on, without micro-managing or getting overwhelmed by double workloads! We also use Monday.com to help us track projects, leads and contacts in one place so we don’t have to ask the other where something is up to.
You may know by now that we are fans of celebrating wins, no matter how small or large. Whether it be a high-five or poppin’ bottles, it’s important to acknowledge when you have achieved something great together, as a team! It is also important not to attribute alllll of the wins to your joint efforts, and that some wins will belong to just one of you. Giving yourself (or your partner) the kudos when they have made something happen on their own helps to shape your sense of self within the partnership, and further define your roles within the business as new responsibilities are thrown your way.
When you live and work together, you will talk about your business, a lot! We thought we talked about work a lot when we worked together within another business, but that had nothing on this! When things are good you will be strategising and fuelling each other’s excitement over all the opportunities just around the corner. When things are challenging or stressful, you have someone to commiserate (aka vent) with because they totally get it!
Finding a healthy balance will be different for everyone but we find that having our home office set up and keeping work related paraphernalia (laptops, documents, our huge whiteboard) in there, means we’re less tempted to have our work creep into other parts of life.
When you’re all wrapped up in business and life, it’s important to have activities that you do separately. Whether that is gym, getting your nails done, brunch with a friend, walking the dog (you get the idea); make sure you have things that are just for you. #selfcare is all the rage right now, but particularly as business owners it’s important to choose activities that fill your cup and drop those that just drain your energy (or bank account) without bringing you proportionate joy!
People will naturally assume that you’ve partnered up, or had your signification other join the team, because of your family connection alone. It’s important to communicate to your other team members and community what this person brings to the table including their key skills and experience; just like you would for anyone else!
Keep an eye out on our socials for more about the working lives that we’ve had and super powers we’ve developed to qualify us to be your people side-kicks!