If your significant other is your partner, the stakes are higher all around.

But when it works, there’s a unique reward in being part of a power couple.

Before you jump into a partnership with your husband or other family member, create some clear expectations for each person’s role within the company. Write them down. But even before you do, be realistic about your own strengths and weaknesses. Can your partner enhance or complement your skills? Who’s the strategist? Who’s the deal maker? Outline each person’s roles and responsibilities up front—before you get started.

Lucille Ball, determined to be a successful actress, struggled for years to achieve stardom. After marrying Cuban band leader Desi Arnaz in 1940, the couple’s private life had its ups and downs. But in 1950, Ball was offered her own televisions series, an offer she refused to accept—that is, unless her husband was hired to co-star. From 1951 to 1957, I Love Lucy evolved as the most popular show on television, and it enjoyed unprecedented success. While Ball shined in her role as the zany Lucy Ricardo, Arnaz uncovered his own talents as a television executive, and he called the shots throughout the duration of the show. This power couple learned firsthand the unique rewards associated with working as a husband-and-wife team.

The truth is, between 80 and 90 percent of all businesses are family owned. If you’re considering a business partnership, first read Life Lesson 5 in Real You Incorporated: Don’t go it alone.

Do you have insight about making business partnerships work? Leave a comment!