When Toby and I first decided to go into the business full time together, we got a lot of questions. Specially ones related to how we’ll manage a business as a couple.
When you add the “co-workers” tag to your relationship, you go in knowing that you’ll have your good days and bad. But that’s the case for any two people collaborating in a business venture.
That said, we adopted one key element from a former job that has helped us to stay connected, communicate properly and avoid any misunderstood expectations.
It’s called WIP.
WIP – Work in Progress – is our weekly Monday morning ritual where we sit down together at the dining room table, and spell out our week both from a work and personal perspective.
We both worked at a company that held weekly WIP meetings, and decided to integrate it into our business practice.
WIP allows us to better understand one another’s to-do list and schedule. WIP pushes us to help one another out. WIP makes us have the conversations that you wouldn’t think to have.
It’s so important to stay connected especially because we’re now both running the same business on top of our household.
Here’s what a Weekly WIP Meeting looks like:
Meet at 10:30 a.m. for one hour at the dining room table
Materials: phones (for calendars), notebooks, pens, whiteboard and whiteboard marker
- -Review the whiteboard, which has a list of current and prospective clients. We each provide a status update. If last week’s assigned task for a client wasn’t complete, we plan it into our calendar.
- -Offer or ask for help on particular project components
- -Look at the quarterly business goals, and take one step that week to bring us closer to that goal (for instance, I set aside three hours last week to re-work our web content).
- -Run through the coming week’s work calendar; who has meetings, where do we need to be and who needs the car.
- -Run through the family’s calendars: Alex’s hockey? Haircuts? Birthday parties? Family gatherings? Book (wine) club?
- -Take a look at the following week’s schedule to ensure we don’t double book ourselves.
WIP is a simple hour of conversation that has really helped us diminish any chance for communication breakdown.
Again, it’s setting aside that one hour to work ON our business and it gives us so much clarity when we return to work IN our business.
Your Action Plan:
Set aside one hour this week to review all your projects and how they’ll fit into your schedule over the next two weeks. Or, schedule a WIP with your team to check in and offer any help/support. Or, check in with your accountability partner/mastermind group to see where everyone is at with actioning out their quarterly business goals.