In Business With Your Partner? Clearly Define Your Roles!

by Pamela on September 8, 2013

At Home And In Business, Divvy Up The Tasks

In your home, how do you divide the tasks? By ability? By likes and dislikes? By availability? By default?

If you’re like most people, you probably use a combination of the above to figure out who does what around the house. In my house, we divided up our roles a long time ago. We’ve swapped a few times, too. Some of the things we do are based on our abilities, some are things one of us likes to to more than the other, and some we each get “stuck with” by default. It’s not always a 50/50 proposition.

When I work with couples who want to balance home and work, I find that many of them are frustrated because their roles aren’t clearly defined and relatively balanced. Naturally, neither of you wants to feel as though you’re doing all the work at home or in your business. Resentment can build in both the boardroom and the bedroom when the work isn’t fairly divided. Although I encourage my clients to maintain healthy boundaries between home and business, feelings carry over- we’re only human.

Before you and your partner start a business together, hold a brainstorming session. Write down everything you can possibly think of that needs to be done to start and maintain your business. Figure out what each of you does best and define your roles in as much detail as possible to avoid overlap and unwittingly undermining each other.

What do you like to do? What are you better at doing than your partner? What are you available to do? And, what do you have to do, by default?

Start with the important roles, and then work your way to down to the administrivia like who buys the office supplies! One of you may be better at marketing and social media, while the other is better with technical end of the business. Who is better with money? Perhaps they should pay the bills and do the accounting. Who is better at handling clients? They should be the ‘face’ of your business.

Go with your strengths first, and divide the tasks as best you can. Then go back and see what’s left on the list. You’ll probably have plenty of things that neither of you enjoy doing, so split them. Avoid the temptation of ignoring those things because they’ll only come back to bite you in the end.

When you’re in the right role, things naturally flow better in the board room and the bedroom!

How do you and your partner go about dividing the work at home and in your business?

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