Tips for Couples Who Work Together

 In Business Tips, Indie Oxford Interviews, Inspiration

Balancing personal and professional relationships can sometimes feel like walking a tightrope, but for couples who work together, it can also be the foundation of a flourishing business venture. Last year for Valentine’s Day, we delved into the stories of couples embracing the indie lifestyle and exploring how they met.

Today, we’re excited to dive deeper into the world of dynamic duos driving some of Oxfordshire’s favourite independent businesses. Nine indie couples generously share their insights and tips for navigating the complexities of collaboration. Whether you’re a couple considering embarking on a joint entrepreneurial journey or simply curious about how love and work intertwine, this collection of top tips offers some brilliant perspectives and inspiration. So sit back, relax, and let’s explore the secrets to successful teamwork in both love and business.

Happy Valentine’s Day! >>

Ruth and Johan, owners of The Jericho Cafe

Tips for Couples Who Work Together

“Johan and I have been running the café together for over 20 years and I think what’s made that work and kept us successful, as a couple, is that we have always taken on different roles and made sure we each do our part in the successful running of the business but without stepping on each other’s toes. When we started out, I was the chef: in charge of the menus, the kitchen and everything in it and Johan was front of house.  We each had our domain so there were never disagreements.  As that slowly evolved over time, 3 kids later, we still have different responsibilities and roles within the business and we work together as a team to make sure, between us, we cover every aspect of the café and keep our place as fresh and as welcoming as on the first day we took over, 22 years ago. We each know the other very well indeed and had worked together before, for other people, otherwise I think we could have had more issues from the beginning but running our own business was something we’d dreamed of and just seemed a natural progression when the opportunity arose.”

Ajaye and Alexa, owners of The Project PT

Tips for Couples Who Work Together

“I think working together works for some couples and doesn’t for others. This doesn’t mean our relationship is stronger than others, it’s just different. We are both aware of our strengths and happy to play towards them and support the other when it’s not an area of strength for them. We do talk about work whilst at home and on holiday, it works for us!”

Roshni and Sam, owners of Tikka and Tadka

Tips for Couples Who Work Together

“I always knew that when I started my own business, I’d have to have Sam as a co-founder. He has all of the skills I lack(vice versa),and I know that together, we make a very strong team. When one of us falters the other one stands strong. And according to Sam ‘Well, for a happy marriage and successful business the best thing is to let the wife always feel that she is the boss.’”

Roshni, Tikka and Tadka

Phil and Danny, owners of Marshes Accounting

Tips for Couples Who Work Together

“Sharing common goals and celebrating achievements together.”

Ross and Julie, owners of Neve’s Bees

Tips for Couples Who Work Together

“We have our own work spaces and look after separate ‘bits’ of the business – we both have a different skill set and we try not to tread on each other’s toes (although it drives him mad when I ‘wing it’ – Ross does love his lists and routines).

My top tip is keep it fun!! Neve’s Bees enables us to do some really cool stuff like trade at Glastonbury, go to events dinners, have lovely meals out when we’re away with Neve’s Bees.

…and don’t sweat the small stuff!”

Julie, Neve’s Bees

Lizzie and James, owners of Jericho Coffee Traders

Tips for Couples Who Work Together

“Make sure you talk about other things too otherwise you start associating each other with work! Luckily one thing we love doing is ‘going out for a coffee’ together – we are never far away from a good coffee in Oxford!”

Rachel and Holly, owners of the Waterside Café

Tips for Couples Who Work Together

“Our top tip is to work to each others strengths. We have quite different roles in the business. I am much more comfortable running the front of house whilst I joke about Holly being my personal assistant, she’s often the one replying to my emails, manages our social media account and is always looking for creative ways to get the word out there. It’s often hard for small business owners to blow their own trumpet, so it’s good to have a partner who can do that for you.”

Rachel, Waterside Café

Yaz and Jamie, owners of Align Events

Tips for Couples Who Work Together

“Define your business roles and stick to them. Communication is key! Preparation and a good game plan. Leave work at work.”

Frances and Alex, owners of Earth Ale

Tips for Couples Who Work Together

“Our top tips are to always remember to laugh and celebrate the small wins, as well as the big wins. Luckily, a good beer is never far away to help us do that!”

Fran, Earth Ale

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