Research among more than 1,000 SME owners, undertaken by GoDaddy, reveals that relationships among those who either currently run, or have run, a small company with their partner last 5 times longer than the national average. This equates to 11 years, 4 months for those who run a business together, compared with the national average of 2 years, 9 months*.
The study found that almost four in five (79%) said their relationship is stronger because of running a business together, and a similar number (78%) think the character traits needed to run a business with a partner are the same as those that underpin a strong personal relationship.
When asked why working together benefits their relationship, more than three quarters (77%) agreed that they see their partner’s best qualities because of running a business together. Three in five (61%) say they are attracted to their partner’s business acumen, while almost two-thirds (63%) say that arguments blow over quicker as they need to focus on the business.
Buckinghamshire-based relationship coach James Preece, reflected on GoDaddy’s study and offered five tips to couples who may be considering launching their own venture:
- Schedule Regular Conversations – The secret to any successful relationship is healthy and frequent communication. Whether you need feedback on work or just want to chat about what’s happened that day, having open and honest communication is essential for both of your wellbeing.
- Give Each Other Space – Taking time for yourself is essential for maintaining your sanity and peace of mind. Giving your partner the chance to miss you will help your connection. Encourage them to see their friends or take part in sports and activities that don’t include you. This will also mean you have more talk about afterwards.
- Be Each Other’s Cheerleader – Remind yourselves constantly that you are both on the same team. Don’t take each other for granted or feel you are competing and celebrate each other’s little wins and achievements. That way you will grow together and strengthen your relationship.
- Leave Work Behind – Have an agreement that once you stop working then you both switch off for the day. No talking about issues or focusing on anything negative. If you happen to work from home, try to dedicate one area that’s purely for work only. Your home should be a safe space where you can both relax and unwind.
- Don’t Forget to Date – Even though you are together all the time, you still need to make time for quality time together as a couple. Try to arrange a date night once a week where you go out somewhere new or try a new activity. This keeps things exciting and gives you something to look forward to in addition to work.
“Work and home are often considered mutually exclusive lifestyles, but this couldn’t be further from the truth,” Preece said. “In fact, working together can be a great way to strengthen your relationship. When you’re able to balance work and family responsibilities successfully, it can demonstrate to your partner that you value their contributions in your life.”
GoDaddy customers and couples Chris and Sarah Fryer and Suzi and Daniel Smith shared the following observations on living and working together:
Chris and Sarah Fryer, owners of Magpye, said: “Running a business together doesn’t come without it’s challenges, but we’ve found it extraordinary how working together has solidified our bond as a couple. We’re able to be more honest because we know each other so well, and by working together we’ve learnt how to support each other in different ways.”
Suzi and Daniel Smith, owners of BellaBee Jewllery, said: “We have worked so well as a team in our personal life for over a decade and we were confident that the same would be true in business – and we were right! We love that working together doesn’t feel like hard work, our strengths totally complement each other’s, and we know how to harness them for the benefit of the business.”
Ben Law, GoDaddy Head of UK & Ireland said: “Through our extensive experience of empowering everyday entrepreneurs, we know that microbusiness owners have a deep passion for the companies they run. However, it’s heartening to see that small business owners can also find love with their partners and that these relationships can be far stronger than the national average. It seems that couples who make pay together really do stay together.”