Professionally connected

Status quo clear. Who does how much for the company? Is this reflected in the status and income of the partners? Who can decide what? Who is authorized to sign? What happens if something happens to the partner? These questions should be clarified at the beginning of the business relationship. Especially when the partner joins an existing company, it is important to create a legally sound foundation. Women in particular often set aside for the sake of the man or the company – for example, by being satisfied with a job on a EUR 450 basis, even though they manage the entire office or put as much energy into the joint company as the man. In doing so, they are usually not aware of their poor coverage.

Share tasks. So that there is no constant conflict of competence, the responsibilities should be clearly distributed from the outset. It is helpful if the partners know their strengths and weaknesses – because who takes care of the customer relationship when two people-shy numbers people do something together? Ideally, the skills and characters of the partners complement each other. Important business decisions should be made together. Young entrepreneurial couples in particular can also think early on about how the tasks should be distributed when children come into play.

Separate work and leisure. Often the company sits at the breakfast table in the morning and is the last topic before going to sleep in the evening. So that it doesn’t become the only subject of the conversation and you have nothing else to say to each other, work and leisure should be separated as much as possible. This also includes planning joint ventures and “couple time” apart from business obligations, in which one deliberately does not talk about work.

Stay independent. Entrepreneurial couples not only share their work, but also their everyday lives. The challenge is not to merge with each other and not only to see yourself as part of a couple, but to maintain your independence. Therefore, everyone should have their own hobbies and take time for themselves.

Communicate clearly. Regardless of whether it is for business or pleasure: As soon as a slight discomfort creeps in, you should address it, if possible without reproaching it. Otherwise you run the risk that at some point so much that has not yet been said will accumulate between the partners that nobody knows how it came about in the first place. Maintaining relationships is even more important with entrepreneurial couples than with other couples, so that private crises are not carried into the company. Because open disputes among the bosses unsettle the workforce and damage business.

Searching for help. The life situation of entrepreneurial couples is demanding. No wonder if sometimes everything becomes too much. In such cases, or even as a preventive measure, it does not hurt to seek support from experts. This is not an admission of failure, but an expression of entrepreneurially wise action: When it comes to tax or IT matters, entrepreneurs do not hesitate to get external know-how. There are now a number of couples therapists and coaches who specialize in advising entrepreneurial couples. nic

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