How Herts partners make it as ‘co-preneurs’
Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? Discussed it with your partner? Hatched a plan to give up your day job and pool your energy and ideas to go into business together?
If those plans come to fruition, you’ll be part of a growing movement of UK co-preneurs. There are currently 1.4 million couples running a business together in the UK and this figure is due to increase, according to research carried out by FreeAgent, the online accounting business.
The advantages include the opportunity to share childcare, work flexibly, realise joint hopes and dreams, and enjoy the fruits of your labour rather than working around the clock only for someone else to reap the rewards. But is running a business with your partner all entrepreneurial enchantment? Surely there must be things to look out for before you take the plunge?
John Lees, author of How to Get a Job You Love, offers some advice: ‘There are particular issues when partners work together. And it’s all to do with boundaries. Because you are living and working together there are often no boundaries unless you put them in.’
He suggests making boundaries playful. ‘Perhaps you could say, “As soon as I’ve taken off my watch it’s time to stop talking about work”.’
Another issue, he says, is to do with ‘accountability and feedback’. Indeed. How exactly do you factor in a 360 review with someone you sleep with? Could be tricky. John’s advice? ‘The antidote is to make sure there are other people around because you really do need objective feedback.’
Working together and living together can lead to over exposure, he warns. ‘And to be slightly grim about it, if the personal relationship fails, you might have to think about how you go your separate ways but remain as business partners. It’s worth asking this question early on.’
Thankfully, he ends on a more upbeat note: ‘There are great rewards working with people you know well.’
‘There are currently 1.4 million couples running a business together in the UK’