Owning a business with your spouse
That is correct, as the title suggests Laura and I have a relationship that stretches too much greater depths than our love for event wristbands. We bought Tyvek wristbands into our lives – not the other way round! We are not unique in that we are partners running an Australian business together as so many people do, but this is how we do it and we thought it would be great to share with you all the ins and outs, positives and of course, the negatives!
We believe the reason our custom wristband business has continued to grow and flourish over the past three years, is because both Laura and I have quite different personalities and naturally can bring different skills to the table. Laura is passionate about customer service, custom Tyvek wristband design, business growth, social media marketing and is the more social of us both. I am passionate about printing personalised wristbands and the technical elements of the business, I love exploring different security wristband printing technologies and am a great problem solver, I love fixing things and working more behind the scenes!
Roles and Structure
We are not a large company (although we do have many wholesale wristband customers) with hundreds of employees, an accounts department, divisional sales teams, HR, a health and safety departments etc. so how we came about settling into our different roles is interesting. At the start, we both had to do everything, from unloading huge (and heavy!) pallets of Tyvek festival wristbands, managing stock levels to servicing the printers. Having to wear every hat and work through and experience all aspects of the business we found ourselves naturally falling into different roles that we enjoyed more and because of this, excelled in. These roles are also a direct reflection on our interests and personalities outside of work. Who would have guessed!
Forbes pretty much nailed it when they said the below five points were key to a successful business partnership with your spouse:
Positives about working with your partner.
Connection on a deeper level has to be one of the greatest advantages that working with your partner gives you. Anyone out there who owns a business alongside their partner knows that this allows you to experience every high and low together.
Laura and I have been able to celebrate successes such as when we printed our first-ever customised event wristband and our third business anniversary. We have also been able to be there for one another in difficult times such as the pandemic. We can understand each other much more than a work partner. Another positive is that we both have similar values when it comes to the business, there is nothing more important to us than maintaining a positive, high vibrational energy in the office as well as giving back to our local community through our event wristband sponsorship program where we can. Having similar values allows this positive energy to flow into our daily handling of the business as well as being on the same page with giving back and financial decisions associated with that.
We can also broach subjects that could potentially be difficult with other persons in a more direct matter of fact manner. If an issue arises, we waste no time and deal with it head-on so we can resolve things quickly and focus on moving forward, this is important as an unhappy workplace with unhappy employees is an unproductive one, so we always want to keep the energy high and happy!
Negatives about working with your partner.
Working with your partner every day IS NOT EASY! It’s hard to keep your relationship separate when it comes to working, and it’s hard to keep work out of your relationship. We argue about small things and we argue about big things, but at the same time, this is also good for work as we can pull each other up when needed. So, I would say that the paper wristband business completely benefits from this arrangement.
Getting the balance right is hard, we have to be mindful to not speak about the business and DuPont wristband orders when we are spending quality time together, it’s really easy to slip into conversations about the business when we are out to dinner or out with friends, but we have to remain very mindful not to let this happen.
Of course, we don’t always agree on how things should be done! Laura and I are two very different people with sometimes different ideas so there have been plenty of times when we have not thought something is “important” or “essential”, but the other person does. For example, conversations we have had in the past have been centred around things as simple as how we pack our plain colour wristbands to how we manage our Tyvek stock levels.
With all of that being said, we are both big believers in the power of communication and believe that as long as we can talk through it with empathy and understanding for each others point of view, we can get through anything. Being on the same page helps us through the hard times and of course designing and producing custom wristbands our clients love, makes it all worthwhile. If you are interested in the science behind working with your spouse, check out this article.
Laura’s favourite thing that Ben brings to The Wristband Co.
“Ben is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Tyvek wristband printing; he knows the ins and outs of every piece of printing machinery and can fix anything when needed! He is an expert on advanced printing methods such as edge to edge printing on wristbands and variable data barcoded wristbands, he is always looking for the next innovative method of packing and printing! Ben has an infectious personality and anyone who has spent time with him knows that when you’re around him you will always feel uplifted!”
Ben’s favourite thing that Laura brings to The Wristband Co.
Laura is a perfectionist and without a doubt the most driven person I have ever met – a wonderful combination. She can get things done quickly, professionally and to the highest standard and will always go out of her way to do the absolute best for any customer. Nothing slips past her and her professionalism towards everything makes me proud to be by her side. Of course, everyone that calls up always wants to speak to Laura!
So, there you have it! We hope you have enjoyed this little insight; we are by no means perfect and neither is our relationship, but the commitment we have to The Wristband Co. and one another, makes it all worthwhile!
Do you co-own a business with your spouse? If so, get in touch, we would love to hear your experience!