Tips for Creating a Successful Work Partnership With Your Significant Other

Lucy BenjaminLucy Benjamin is the owner’s of Lucy’s Original Granola. Originally from England, she had never had granola until she moved to Maine nine years ago.

When her favorite baker stopped making granola, Lucy started making her own. She began her own business after her granola was a huge hit at a local bake sale.

In a profile in the book “The Artisan Food Entrepreneur,” Lucy talks about the challenges that come with running her own business, the sense of pride that she feels in contributing to the Maine economy in a positive way, and the benefits of having the support of her husband, Clifton.

While working with your significant other can be fun, it’s not always easy.It takes a lot of patience, compromise and communication to make it work.

Here are Lucy’s tips for making your business partnership as successful as your domestic partnership.

granola1. Strengths: Work out what his strengths are and use them. My husband is very organized and detail-oriented. I encourage him to use those traits where they are important. He keeps the inventory of supplies, organizes the stock, does packaging, etc.

2. Common interests: our interests are so aligned that we can bounce ideas off each other. He understands the business details. He sees the problems and knows what to do.

3. Teamwork: We have reversed roles in many ways. I am much more focused on the business, and he takes care of the house; this allows me to concentrate on my work. My husband is happy to stay home whilst I go off to do sales/markets/shows etc. It would be really hard if we were traveling all the time.

4. Communication: Communicating about time is essential. I understand what he is doing on any give day/week (tending animals, house, architectural work, garden) so I know how much I have to manage with everything else (children, business, meals, etc.). We have a wonderful blackboard with a grid that lists all appointment/activities/events for everyone so we know at a glance where everyone has to be.

5. Be Supportive: Clifton has always believed in the business more than I have and is totally supportive. I couldn’t imagine not having this kind of emotional backing, it makes the difficult parts so much easier. Clifton is really patient with the granola elves; when things go wrong, he will explain over and over when something needs to be done different, which is not necessarily my style.

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Artisan Food EntrepreneurCome along on an artisan food journey with thirty of the top “foodie” entrepreneurs in the industry. Chapter by chapter, you’ll be carried away with beautiful photography, delicious recipes, and inspiring stories from restaurant owners, farmers, beekeepers, bakers, and more. Get valuable advice for your own business along the way. This wonderful collection is sure to nourish your body and your soul with over thirty recipes that you will want to make again and again.