Couples who run homebased businesses together can enjoy big benefits, but all marriages pack a potential for problems. Add a homebased business partnership to the mix, and sparks can fly. Scott Gregory and Shirley Siluk Gregory, co-authors of The Home Team: How Couples Can Make a Life and Living by Working at Home (Panda Publishing, $22.95, 888-447-2632), say to avoid these five potential traps to help both your marriage and your business thrive:
1. Misplaced priorities. Your relationship should always take priority over your business. If the company becomes more important than your marriage, you could be headed for big trouble.
2. Overworking. It takes hard work to make a business succeed, but be sure to take time for nonwork activities.
3. Poor communication. Couples must talk openly and frequently about issues affecting the marriage, home and business. It helps if partners clearly define family and business roles, divvying both up fairly to avoid hurt feelings.
4. Forgetting the big picture. It's easy to get bogged down in the crisis du jour. Couples must agree on goals for both family and business.
5. Conflicting personality styles. Diverging points of view can bring creativity and growth to both marriage and business. Think of your differences as opportunities, not roadblocks, and you'll find working together to iron them out brings great rewards.
Lynn H. Colwell is a business writer in Post Falls, Idaho.