Written by Patricia Bacon
Couplepreneurs are everywhere, or so it seems, and while this isn’t new (think Sweaty Betty, Eventbrite and Go Ape) it is a growing phenomenon and a movement that we are set to see more of. This is particularly evident as I interview more couples that live together and run a business together in the UK and increasingly around the world. A recent survey that we conducted showed that 52% of couples have set up business together in the last 5 years. You only need to look at businesses like The Cheeky Panda, Digme Fitness, Urban Village Chocolates and Bekudo to see examples of these.
It is an economic segment that is flying a little under and radar right now and with over a million Couplepreneurs in the UK alone it’s about time we create fame for them and start to recognise them as a force and to support their growth. One of these objectives in setting up Couplepreneurs – a global community for couple owned businesses to meet, share and inspire their stories and come together to support and be supported through the trusted advisor network within the community – is to do just that. But why are we witnessing the interest and growth in couples creating a Life Brand together?
Designing a life they want and the routes to embarking on their journey – So many couples are designing a life they desire and this is happening in a myriad of ways. Some have fallen into it through an interest or passion that they have wanted to turn in to a business whilst others have had an idea and researched it further to find there is indeed demand (take a look at Tots to Travel and how Wendy and Rob Shand captured a market place). In some situations it has been the brainchild of one of the partners with the other one joining later, often when the business can sustain them both financially. And some have sat down strategically and thought through the business and what they want to do right through to the exit plan. There are often seminal moments of change in some couples’ lives that has motivated them to do this too and trauma is an emerging theme that can be a driver to do this. What is very clear is how driven the couples are and just how brave they are to embark on this where so often those closest to them cannot begin to get their heads around how and why they are doing this. We are starting to see this change and already are witnessing some ‘Couplepreneur Envy’ happening.
Stronger together, all in, and a shared passion – As I spend time interviewing Couplepreneurs, the trust, love, openness, honesty and commitment that exists between them is quite intoxicating to watch. Couples know each other intimately, they know their strengths and weaknesses and when asked if they would have done this alone there is a unanimous view that they are stronger together, all in and share a passion to make a great success of the business together. They love what they do together and couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else.
Complementary skillsets – Couples bring a different and very complementary skillset and recognise the strength in working together on the business. It is one of the things that most couples tell me you need to recognise from the outset and decide on the roles to achieve success together and whilst this can be very natural in lots of situations some Couplepreneurs have had to learn and adapt to this too. And it is a potent combination where they totally have each other’s backs.
Spending time together with more flexibility and control – As they create a Life Brand together, couples tell me how they are no longer having to snatch time and really enjoy working together with so many saying how magical it feels and how blessed they are. They are more in control of their time and managing their days and have more flexibility together.
Life Balance – We are all seeing the eternal Life Balance and what’s evident is to see how many Couplepreneurs tell me they have a better balance after they have set up a business together compared to their life before. Whilst for many it’s a work in progress as the business can be all encompassing and switching off totally can be a challenge they are achieving greater happiness in designing their own Life Brand.
Patricia Bacon is an expert business growth consultant and founder of Couplepreneurs a new global network for couples running businesses together. Find out more at www.couplepreneurs.co.uk