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How To | Run a business with your spouse

How To | Run a business with your spouse

You may have a pot of valuable saffron sat untouched on your spice rack, with no idea of what to do with it. Passionate about the Iranian food he grew up eating, Hatef Mansoubi and his wife Kylie launched Black Saffron with a mission to show the UK how to use the aromatic spice in everyday home cooking.

Take it from us – their premium sargol saffron will revolutionise your cooking. It’s no surprise it won Three Stars in the Great Taste Awards 2016. Kylie gave us some tips on running a business with your other half.

It’s a shared project

It can be an exciting thing to do together. Whereas some couples will live in their own little zone when they go to work, it does bring you closer in that it gives you a shared passion.

As a couple, it means that we’re able to share and build something together outside of our family unit.

Different perspectives

My husband is completely non-business-orientated and marketing-orientated – he’s a doctor. And I come from a marketing background. He’s quite comfortable for me to carry that aspect on and him being so passionate about Iranian food and how it’s incorporated into English life, he has some great ideas about that.

Being able to get different perspectives – having that insight into the business is invaluable.

You don’t need to set up formal meetings

When we’re cooking, or at dinner, we’re discussing ways in which saffron could be used. Because you’re using it in your daily life together it’s not so much a business meeting about it.

We’ll be talking about it at weekends, when we’re sharing meals or out with friends. It’s a nice informal discussion with no pressures surrounding it. It’s beautiful that it can work that way.


It’s not a one-man band – it’s a joint thing. Knowing you’re both working off the same page and being able to trust each other that you’re going to make the right decisions is important.

Always keep each other in the loop

Keeping your spouse in the loop so they know what’s going on is important otherwise they’ll feel left out. He’s always involved, he’s always CC’d on information going backwards and forwards.

It’s very much a joint venture, discussing the pros and cons of various decisions. You need their opinion; doing it together is like a security net.

Be open to your spouse’s ideas

Being open to suggestions is always a good thing. He’s an ear to sound off, and he’s always throwing ideas in.

Know your strengths and weaknesses

Know your skill sets. My husband is fantastic at talking to people and he’s had a few meetings and where I might have struggled he’s done particularly well so I think that is key – you’ve got to know what each of your strengths are.

He’s got no interest or flair for packaging whereas I do and he was just happy to trust me. On a day-to-day management level he’s happy to leave it up to me.