Have you and your spouse thought about starting a business together? People seem to always say don’t do business with family. While it’s definitely not something that works for everyone, it can be wonderful and rewarding if you start off by considering these five things to do when starting a business with your spouse.
My husband and I have been married for 13 years. In 2011, we started a home-based craft business together. It seemed like the perfect idea. One day we could both work from home, making plenty of money to support our family and spending tons of time together. That’s the dream for a lot of people I know.
But just like starting a business on your own, starting one with someone you love is really hard and takes a lot of work. Here are five things that I think are really important to think about before you take the plunge.
Tips for working with your spouse
Treat your business as a business, not just another fun thing you do together.
Getting any kind of business up and running takes a huge amount of work. If you’re starting a business with your spouse, there are going to be difficult choices to make – together.
If you don’t treat your business professionally, it will become more of a hobby than a source of income.
Do the jobs that you do best. There is no need to both do it all.
You and your partner each have your own strengths. Divide tasks based on who can do those best.
For our business, my husband is the creative one and I’m the organizer. He makes the products while I run our website and do paperwork. When I tried to make products, not only did I not have time for my responsibilities, but I also felt stressed that the things I was making weren’t selling.
Know that you won’t be equal. Somebody has to be the boss and face of the business.
No matter what tasks you’re responsible for, one person ultimately has to be the leader. While you’ll make important decisions together, one of you needs to represent your “brand” to the outside world so that they can get to know the “face” of your business.
Create goals and a backup plan.
It’s important to make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to your future plans. Take some time to write a business plan together. You need to have ideas for success as well as deciding what to do if one or both of you is ready to quit.
Keep work separate. Don’t let it be your 100% of the time thing.
It’s easy to work all the hours when you work from home. Don’t let work become the only thing you do together. Have a designated work schedule and when work is done, put it away for the day.
In the end, it takes a lot of work to follow your passion whether you’re doing it alone, with a partner, or with a whole team. After five years of running a business with my husband, I can say that that hard work it worthwhile.
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