The lawn and landscape industry has an interesting dynamic in that it involves quite a few “entrepreneurial couples,” a new term that is replacing “mom-and-pop.” The term refers to businesses owned by couples (spouses or life partners). And the truth is, there are more of them out there than people realize.
Couples run many small businesses in the U.S.
According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data available, women and men equally owned 2.7 million businesses, which, most likely, are couples.
Though it’s a relatively common practice, it doesn’t get talked about much, says Fred Haskett, head harvester with The Harvest Group, and it presents some unique challenges. That’s why he’s presenting on the topic at LANDSCAPES, along with his wife, Kelly Haskett. The two—who are also in business together—will moderate a leadership panel entitled “Family Owned Businesses in the Lawn and Landscape Industry.”
Haskett says that he’s already getting a lot of interest in the topic, ahead of the show. We asked him to share some of the topics he expects the panel to discuss.
Entrepreneurial Couples: Separating Work and Home Life
One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurial couples face is separating business life from home life.
Haskett says since many couples are both actively involved in the business, when they go home at night, there’s often some difficulty in putting business talk on hold—and separating it from the rest of their life. Haskett says there will be discussions about how to “re-engage as couples” when you’re in business with your spouse or partner.
“If they’re both owners and actively managing the business together, it can become a 24/7 venture. We’ll talk about how to deal with that,” Haskett adds. “We have gathered four couples, two in landscaping and two in lawn care. They will all share their different ways of attempting to separate business life and home life. Maybe it includes a weekly date night. Kelly and I will share our own tips as well as moderating the conversation with our panelists.”
Entrepreneurial Couples: When Problems Arise
Couples spend time together both in the business and out of the business. So, it’s inevitable that problems may arise.
“We all have good days and bad days as owners and as spouses or partners,” Haskett says. “That’s just real life. But sometimes a problem with one of the relationships affects the other relationship. For instance, if there’s a conflict over something at home, it’s hard to turn that off when you get to work. And vice versa if you’re having a problem in the business. So, we’ll talk about strategies. Sometimes it’s a work in progress. At the very least, attendees will learn that they’re not alone in many of these issues.”
Haskett says he plans to learn a lot, too.
“I will likely be surprised and learn a lot from the answers that our panelists provide,” Haskett says. “It’s sure to be an engaging conversation. We’ll deep dive into some of these areas, take questions from the audience, and just have fun. I think we’re all bound to learn a lot from one another.”
Looking for more family business tips? Attend LANDSCAPES!