Owning a Small Business Together – Lakeside Floral and Gift’s Love Story
For those of you in this boat, you’re not alone by any means. Nearly 4 million small businesses in the U.S. are owned and operated by couples, according to the last available census. So how does cohabitation translate to staying happy while managing cash flow, marketing the business, and keeping up with taxes and regulations?
One couple seems to have it figured out.
Joanie and Hal Marklund, owners of Lakeside Floral & Gift, have been running their business together for more than 20 years. Nestled just off the main street in the quaint village of Willernie, Minnesota (pop. 507), the Marklund’s have enjoyed turning their love of flowers into a thriving business, and are proud they’ve done it without ever having a quarrel.
Together, the Marklunds selected the perfect location for their business. With no local mail delivery, the residents of Willernie must stop at the post office each day. Lakeside Floral & Gift is just two doors down so a stop to smell the roses and visit the shop’s canine mascots is just part of the daily routine for many Willernians. That translates to many walk-in sales in addition to orders of arrangements for special occasions and holidays.
From weddings to birthdays to one of their busiest days, Valentine’s Day, Joanie and Hal are simply grateful for the opportunity to deliver joy to their customers with every floral arrangement. While both admit running a small business is hard work, Joanie offered up this advice to keep going: “You have to be passionate about what you’re doing, because you’re going to do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So you must have a passion for it.”