No. 13 What’s Your Business Love Language, and How Can It Help You?

What’s Your Business Love Language, and How Can It Help You?
By learning about your business love languages, you can turn them into a powerful catalyst for growth and success.
by Aja Evans, Keila Hill-Trawick Feb 24, 2024 — 8 min read
What’s Your Business Love Language, and How Can It Help You?

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Discover the more surprising sides of your business finances. From unique seller spotlights (did anybody say taxidermy?) on tackling cash flow to monthly advice from a Financial Therapist and CPA — check out these stories and more from our banking newsletter.

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This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.

Affirmation, gifts, time: We’ve learned that different people express love in different ways. But how you communicate compassion and empathy in your business, whether to customers or other employees, matters too. By learning about your business’s love languages, you can turn them into a powerful catalyst for growth and success. Hear from Square entrepreneurs who express themselves through four common business love languages, and learn how to use these love languages to elevate your business finances. 

Love language: recognition

Lisa Gutierrez runs Dos Hermanos, a taco truck business in Columbus, Ohio, with her family members. That makes it imperative that good relationships are at the forefront of their business strategy. “I have a huge passion for people,” she said. “I love to see people recognized, and I have incorporated [my love language] into a yearly celebration with our employees and managers.” Gutierrez is so dedicated to employee recognition that she took out a loan from Square to ensure she has enough cash on hand to prioritize recognition.

Recognizing employees — whether acknowledging their achievements at annual appreciation parties or allowing for opportunities to grow within the organization — fosters an empowering work environment. “Because we have a lot of family members that work for our business, it’s important to me that they’re successful and that they have life skills that help their family grow, and they can pass them on to their children.”

Guttierez’s business love language has tangible benefits for business growth. “When the managers are recognized, praised, and rewarded, they [then] reward their staff members. So our staff members, in return, are empowered to reward our guests,” she said. The positive energy cascades down to customer interactions, creating a culture of service, and hospitality.

Banking tip: Plan for employee recognition. 

For Guttierez, recognition is a pivotal part of the company’s culture, so she needs to factor it into her annual planning. “Our recognition awards happen in January and February — our slower months — and we’ve been able to infuse cash into the business to keep it going with Square Loans,” Guittierez said.1

Love language: acts of service

Jeff Excell owns Fox in the Snow Café with his wife, Lauren. The bakery and coffee shop have four locations in Columbus, Ohio. Excell credits their growth and success to the way he and his wife use their own dissimilar love languages to optimize their operations.

“My love language is deeds: I get things done, and that’s how I support everybody in the company,” he said. “The other half of that equation is my wife, who is so incredibly intelligent with how she communicates. She lays out this grand vision for what we want to do and feeds everyone positivity.”

By using their strengths, Excell says they’re able to support their employees both operationally and through clear communications. “We push on two different sides and try to stay in each other’s lanes. It’s really about finding balance.”

And while using your love language to help run your business makes sense, Excell has more advice for other entrepreneurs in business partnerships: “Go to therapy!”

Growing a business is challenging and fulfilling. But it also requires a certain temperament, the ability to accept criticism, and knowing who you are. “If you don’t know that, a therapist will truly help,” Excell said.

Banking tip: Build a budget.

If deeds are your strength, think about the financial tasks on your plate. Organizing your business finances is an act of service that can help the business grow and give your business partners some peace of mind. Square Savings folders let you set aside money for taxes, payroll, rent, rainy day funds, or even those pie-in-the-sky goals

Did you know?

Square sellers earned a total of $3,025,073.63 in interest from Square Savings in 2023. Create a savings folder in Square and automatically put aside a little cash to save for your goals this year.

Love language: creating community

Rob Petros co-owns John’s Marketplace, a beer store and deli with three locations in Oregon, with his brother, Paul. “Our tagline is craft, curiosity, and community,” Petros said.

As a business, they are dedicated to carrying small brewers, engaging with their customers and suppliers, and developing a market beyond big brands. “We really try to foster our staff’s and our guests’ curiosity in exploring beverages,” Petros said. 

“We also have a tendency to remain curious about where we are at, personally and professionally,” he added. “We continually try to adjust our operations, habits, and methods of communication — both interpersonally and with staff. It really does start with us, and it translates to creating community with our guests and our vendors.”

Petros adds that working in a family business necessitates more intentionality, communication, and careful consideration. His advice for establishing a good working relationship? “Empty your cup. When you’re in business with family, you have history. But if I identify [these issues] I empty my cup and say, ‘This is a different time, this is a different place, I have to take this situation in this moment, not into the history that has preceded it.’”

And at the end of the day? “I know that my family, my brother, has got my back and I’ve got his.”

Banking tip: Make it a priority to pay people on time.

When your vendors and employees are your purpose, it’s imperative to be a good business partner. That means always making payments on time — which can be a challenge when you’re a small business with a variety of costs. If you’re waiting days for your bank to transfer funds, consider relying on Square Checking to free up your cash so you can make payments the second you need to.2 

Love language: hard work

Chad Goodwin owns and runs vegan diner 4th & State in Columbus, Ohio, with his family. He sums up his business love language in two words: attitude and effort. Drawing from his experience in past entrepreneurial ventures, Goodwin said, “When you’re in an environment where you don’t have the skills or the knowledge, having a great attitude and effort is the great equalizer.” He added, “That’s how you get better and build a great team and strong relationships.”

“I have a great appreciation for people who are willing to show up and work hard, regardless of the circumstances, and try to have fun,” Goodwin said.

“We’ve learned as a family and as business owners that if you care about attitude and effort, you kind of have to be the vanguard of that,” Goodwin added. “We pride ourselves on trying to be the hardest working people in the restaurant at all times.”

After all, family businesses can be tough and strenuous. “The upside of it is when people start to feel like a family, and you can show you care about them in more ways than just trying to pay them well and giving them adequate time off,” Goodwin said.

Banking tip: consolidate your financial tools.

Goodwin credits Square Banking for helping provide financial solutions that allow him to focus on business operations rather than bureaucratic hurdles you encounter with traditional banking loans. “I can actually use that time to put effort into what we’re actually trying to do: Make great food.”

Editor’s note: The following columns were first featured in the Square Banking newsletter. Aja Evans and Keila Hill-Trawick are not employees or consultants of Square and the views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and are not endorsed by Square.

Finance in Focus: How to Strengthen Work Relationships — Even for Solopreneurs


Aja Evans is a licensed mental health counselor who specializes in financial Tterapy. She owns and operates a private practice in New York City.

We frequently talk about the five love languages in romantic relationships, but did you know they can be applied to how we show up in our business? Our love language is about how we communicate in any type of relationship, including our business relationships. 

Let’s explore a few different workplace partnerships: 

Business owners with business partners
When you’re busy trying to make it all happen, it can be easy to skip over verbalizing your appreciation for a job well done. Never underestimate the power of words of affirmation and giving regular praise and recognition to your colleagues. This can also be applied if you have a team — or teams of people across multiple locations. 

Business owners who work with their families
Acts of service can show appreciation when working with family, such as taking on tasks you know someone dislikes. If you don’t mind doing the inventory, take that off your loved one’s plate; maybe they excel at creating a welcoming customer experience. Quality time may also be important for families who work together. Scheduling regular check-ins and brainstorming sessions to keep communication flowing can go a long way.

Even though you mainly work alone, you still have people you work with. In this case, the love language of gift giving can help build and maintain relationships. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but something to signify your gratitude for their help.

Good With Numbers: “I’m paying for past due sales tax with a huge monthly payment plan — 18% of my revenue.”


Keila Hill-Trawick is founder and CEO of Little Fish Accounting, a boutique CPA firm dedicated to serving micro businesses through accounting and tax support. 

CPA Keila responds to real-life ‘Oh sh*t’ tax moments submitted by Square business owners.

Dear Keila

Just starting out, I needed every penny to keep products on the shelves and pay for overhead. I’m paying for it now with a huge monthly payment plan for previous quarters (18% of my revenue). I’ve learned to set aside each day’s taxes into its own bank account and pay quarterly taxes from that account. It’s a much easier pill to swallow by setting aside smaller payments each day than to be hit with a three-month grand total. 

 — Janelle, gift store owner, Hesperia, CA


Sales tax can be hard to get right because each state has different rules. Knowing what’s required, when you’re liable, and how much to pay are the keys to staying compliant. Here are a few tips to make it easier on yourself:


  1. Register with the state your business is in. Make sure you’ve filed the proper paperwork with your state. You’ll get an account number, which you’ll use in your payment processor to add sales tax to customer invoices and sales receipts. 
  2. Remember, sales tax is not income. It’s easy to feel like every dollar that comes into the business is yours, the truth is, sales tax is a pass-through cost. Think of yourself as the middleman. You collect sales tax when a sale is made and remit it to the appropriate tax authority when it’s due. 
  3. Open a separate bank account. Having a separate bank account for sales tax is a reminder that those funds are already allocated for a purpose. Determine how much should be paid to the state when you do your regular bookkeeping, so you’re setting aside the appropriate amount. You can even set up automatic contributions to this account, so you’re always prepared!

Putting these things into practice will give you more peace of mind — you can avoid surprise tax bills (and painful payment plans) down the line.

 1All loans and savings accounts are issued by Square Financial Services, Inc., a Utah-Chartered Industrial Bank. Member FDIC. Actual fee depends upon payment card processing history, loan amount, and other eligibility factors. A minimum payment is required and you must repay your loan as specified in the loan terms. Loan eligibility is not guaranteed. All loans are subject to credit approval.

2Square Checking is provided by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC. Square Debit Card is issued by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Mastercard. Square Debit Card may be used wherever Mastercard is accepted. Accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.


Instant availability of Square payments: Funds generated through Square payment processing services are generally available in the Square checking account balance immediately after a payment is processed. Fund availability times may vary due to technical issues.


Aja Evans
Aja Evans, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in Financial Therapy. She owns and operates a private practice in New York City.
Keila Hill-Trawick
Keila Hill-Trawick is the Founder and CEO of Little Fish Accounting, a boutique CPA firm dedicated to serving micro businesses through accounting and tax support. Based out of Washington, D.C. by way of Atlanta, GA, Little Fish serves clients nationwide.

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