working with your spouse/partner

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jmj
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03/24/2014

For those of you who work with your spouse exclusively in your inn, what did you learn from your experience? Specifically, what do you wish you had done differently when going from working outside the home and not seeing each other all day to working as a team, all day?

I am sure this change in routines can't be easy, but I am also sure some of you have some great tips, advice on working with a significant other in business. 

(unfortunately, I do remember the post of the b and b that closed, something about a divorce Sad  )

 

 

Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

We'd been together for 14 years when we bought the B&B so I think the biggest adjustment was going from only seeing each other evenings and weekends to being together 24 x 7. I don't think you can advise about that, it's just something you have to work through. 

most important thing I would say is to have very clearly defined lines of responsibility and stick to them. It's something we actually fell into quickly at the start and think it stops resentment from one person feeling they're doing more than their fair share.

That's actually how we came to have this house, the people that built it for B&B split up because he wanted to run a B&B, but she felt she was doing all the work. And there have been several other B&B's around here that have shut for similar reasons. 

 

 

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10/07/2008

There are issues when one works outside the inn and comes in and doesn't "get it" so I think you have a benefit having both of you working together.

 

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Joey Bloggs wrote:

There are issues when one works outside the inn and comes in and doesn't "get it" so I think you have a benefit having both of you working together.

 

Yes, totally different stresses.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Working with your spouse can be wonderful and difficult all at the same time! If you've never done it before, think of those things about him or her that you really enjoy and really annoy you. Those things will multiply when you're working together.

I have seen couples divorce from the pressures of innkeeping. Especially so, if both of you work full time in the biz.

We'll be starting our 14th season this July. We had never worked together before. That first year was horrible! Neither one of us were used to being told what to do by the other spouse. We fought in whispers most of that first year. We slowly got our groove on how to work with each other. We then became a great team together, but it took a lot of work.

My best advice to couples working and living together is to find the time and money to get away. It is so important that you're able to spend time as a couple and NOT as innkeepers. Try not to talk business all the time. It's fun..it's sort of like dating again!

 

Tom
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10/11/2009

Interesting replies so far ... same here: DW and I worked together professionally for decades.  She quit the job ten years back, but I still work.

Knowing your partner in a previous business setting is a help to defining a B&B business relationship.  In B&B there is a lot of stuff to do, most of it rather menial (cook, serve, clean, shop, keep the books).  Work sharing, negotiating, delegating, decision-making and resolving different viewpoints are key to any partnership and apply to the max in B&B.  If you are used to working in a job, you are probably used to having a predictable hierarchy: who is the boss, who does the dirty work, how much is the pay, who gets cussed out (or fired) for making a mistake.  Not so simple when your life partner is your business partner.   

On of my more polite responses when DW bosses me around is, "I don't work for you."  True, but not particularly constructive, I suppose.

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06/24/2008

We have worked together since we married so the jump was not as large of one.

Most importantly is to have a balance in your duties each having your own responsibilities is a plus.  We seem to do better this way and allows time somewhat apart to get certain tasks completed.

Always make time to be together as a couple and leave the business out of that time. 

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05/22/2008

We have always been in our own business one way or another. So working together was no problem. I am the computer, marketing, baking and cleaning. He does the lawn work, also takes turns cooking, and helps with the laundry and is the overall handyman. We only had 3 rooms so no outside help. Maybe if we did we would have lasted longer than 6 years. But for us as a couple we never had problems. We worked well as a team.

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

We met working together so that was less of an issue - its all about balance and I think both of you need time out's without the other ie just this evening I went to a restaurant opening and DH went to Pilates

I would also strongly recommend lots of sleep! as otherwise you get ratty and take it out on each other as the nearest target - Also be strict about having some time off now and again.

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

We were used to being together a lot. I worked graveyard shift and he tried to make it as an artist for 4 years before going back to work. It was nothing new. I still have thoughts of He fty bags, Tide, and my daughter told me to not forget the cement (she knows because she is a cop). I bite my tongue a LOT!

Perhaps I should also explain that the B & B is just mine (he foes the dishes and can still vac the downstairs) and he is now an artist working on commissions most of the time.  The mule sometimes appears when it comes to something for the house requiring expense to the house or grounds that that Mr. Mule sees no reason for - or I see no reason for like his new driveway.

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