How Our Business Partnership Has Evolved in 5 Years of Duo


How Our Business Partnership Has Evolved in 5 Years of Duo

Are you ready for a behind-the-scenes look at the life of Duo? In this episode, we’re going to share how our business partnership has evolved over the last five years of being in business together. Things look a lot different now than they used to!

People crave consistency and strive toward a perfect routine. But things happen personally and professionally that force you to adapt and evolve. And that’s the beautiful thing about being in business. You have the freedom and flexibility to evolve with your life and your business.

It might seem like we’re always a well-oiled machine, but we’re not. We are a hot mess sometimes! So, we wanted to share our experience with evolving our business partnership since starting Duo in 2019 to hopefully give you some comfort wherever you’re at in your business.

Learning How to Adapt

We’ve had to learn how to adapt. It doesn’t come naturally to us; sometimes we desperately want to cling onto things as they are. But that’s not realistic in entrepreneurship. We have to learn to adjust and go with it.

We’ve been partners in Duo for five years now, but before that, we worked together at an agency. Even though we sometimes crave consistency in our business, we know that’s not actually what we want – that’s one of the reasons we left our agency jobs. It was too repetitive, and we got bored.

There has to be a balance between finding some level of consistency and going with the flow.

How our Business Partnership has Evolved

These are some of the ways our business partnership has changed since 2019

Divide and conquer more often than not.

We’ve figured out what we’re good at in our business. We know our strengths and weaknesses and heavily lean into that. Abbey does all of the SEO, and Court does all of the branding. Sometimes, we don’t even know what the other is working on! We’re each handling our own clients.

It’s actually really nice to be focused on our areas of expertise. In the beginning, we were trying to work together on these projects and be involved in all the communication. It became unsustainable and inefficient. Now, we know our roles and only overlap when the project requires it.

Vocalizing uncomfortable moments.

We talk about everything, and we’ve had very uncomfortable discussions about Duo and our business partnership. Some examples are:

Sometimes, you have to have uncomfortable situations with your business partner. We’ve gotten comfortable in the uncomfortable moments. It’s been a long time since we didn’t want to talk to each other about something on our minds.

Understand that we should have different goals personally.

We are two people and one business. For a long time, it felt like we needed to have the same personal goals, and everything we did had to be together. Some goals should align, but we are two individuals with different lives. 

Our business can grow in more than one way. We’ve been learning this lesson over the last year. We can work differently and still grow Duo in a way we both feel good about. It can evolve with both of us!

Outsourcing is huge for us.

Right now, we’ve gotten really good at deciding “What do we have to do?” Outsourcing is the biggest opportunity in our business right now and we’ve gotten really good at tapping into our skill sets. We now focus on understanding who is good at what or who needs to own certain things, and we outsource the rest. 

We are scaling and growing our business so fast right now (and we’re very grateful for that!) that we need to be aware of how we’re spending our time. We could easily work 24/7 on Duo, but that’s not realistic. We know what we absolutely need to do ourselves and what we can outsource to our team.

If you are in a business partnership or thinking of being in one… it’s a lot of work, but we know it’s what we should be doing because things have only gotten better. We wouldn’t have it any other way!

business partnership evolution

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Abbey Oslin and Courtney Petersen are Minnesota-based marketing experts, educators, and co-founders of boutique marketing agency Duo Collective, which specializes in SEO, social media strategy, and branding for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about Duo Collective, or to inquire about working with our team, head over to 

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