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Starting a Business With Ones Spouse

by Robert Wagner on September 20, 2010

Starting a business can be very stressful. How about starting a business with your spouse? Is it a good idea, or a recipe for disaster?

As corporate jobs become less reliable, more and more people are considering starting a business with their spouses. The idea of going into business with a spouse is very appealing because it provides independence, and the prospect of income that isn’t limited by salary.

One thing is for certain if you go into business with your spouse, you won’t be alone. Contrary to popular belief most businesses are family run. Modern family owned businesses range from couples doing business together in a home office, to giant multinational corporations.

Although they are common, running a family owned business isn’t easy. It can be hard work and it can put tremendous amounts of stress on a marriage. Many people discover that doing business with a spouse just doesn’t work.

Potential Pitfalls of Starting a Business with your Spouse

There are many potential pitfalls to starting a business with your spouse. Many family owned businesses fail because the couples that start them don’t consider these potential problems until they actually confront them.

Time is one big issue that many people don’t consider when starting a business. Any small business person will tell you that a small business takes up a lot more time than a standard job. You can’t just go home at five o’clock and come back the next morning. You will probably have to stay until the work gets done.

Since running a business takes up a lot of time, this means that you will probably have to spend a lot of time with your spouse. Many marriages and businesses fall apart because the spouses simply can’t stand spending several hours a day together.

A way to get around this would be to start a business with your spouse that doesn’t require both spouses to be together all the time. An example of this might be a trucking or service business where the husband spends a lot of time on the road and the wife stays home and does the books.

Authority and Structure

A big issue that affects some spouse owned businesses is authority and business structure. In layman’s terms this means who is in charge of what.

Too often spouses will start a business without laying out any clear structure or chain of command. This can quickly lead to arguments when the spouses start making decisions for each other.

A good way to avoid this is to set up a business structure with a chain of command. Decide early on who keeps the books, who makes the spending decisions, who deals the customers and so on.

A good way to do this is to put one person in charge of the banking and money decisions. Only that person makes those decisions. This can avoid conflict and fights over money and other issues. A way to do this is to divide up business chores based on expertise for example: a husband who has technical skills might do all the repair work in a repair business while the wife does the office work.

A regular procedure for making major decisions about the business can also help. A good way to do this is to hold a monthly or weekly staff meeting where both spouses sit down and make decisions.

Learn About Business First

Before starting a business with your spouse you should learn something about small business and doing business with your spouse. A good way to do this is to locate a successful business owned, and run by spouses and observe it in action for awhile. An excellent method of doing this would be to take a job even a small time job at such a firm.

Another good way to do this would be to ask a successful business person to be your mentor. This individual could provide you with advice on business issues and share their expertise.

This article was written by William Eve. William writes about saving money, investment loans and real estate for Home Loan Finder. Visit the Home Loan Finder website to compare the best home loans or search for a mortgage broker today.


{ 3 comments }

Slava September 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm

I don’t think it’s a good idea. Business takes a lot of work and a lot of your mind. It’s bad enough one person in family is constantly occupied with this, but two is too much..
Slava´s last blog ..The Abu Dhabi Grand MosqueMy ComLuv Profile

Payday Loans September 29, 2010 at 10:38 pm

This is really a good Idea, Having your spouse as your business partner could not just help your business but at the same time it could also strengthen the marriage/relationship..And it is also true that both of them as partners should have their own role to do on the business, that would prevent further arguments and conflicts between the couple..thanks for sharing..

Loans Australia October 8, 2010 at 6:29 am

There are many pitfalls of starting with a spouse…she won’t let you be the CEO!

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