How do you own a business with your husband? Should Your Spouse Be Your Business Partner? ‘…For better or for worse…’- these words form part of the vows that couples make to each other at the aisle.
This vow will form the template for the interaction between man and wife to always love and cherish each other, to keep the fidelity and chastity of the union and just as important, to hold the other partner in dear esteem, in sickness and in health until death
In terms of starting a business with one’s wife or husband, couples have been found to form such partnerships outside the home. Such an arrangement could see the couple play out assigned roles, in the day-to-day running of the venture dependent on factors such as the training and experience of each partner, the person(s) that provides seed funding amongst other considerations.
Going into Business With Your Spouse
In providing an answer to the question of whether one should do business with one’s wife/husband, it is pertinent to consider a number of factors. The first is that running a business is entirely different from maintaining the home front. The couple must be able to make the transition from being husband and wife, to being business partners, once they step out of the home.
While a yes or no answer cannot be accorded this question, it is expected that the conjugal pair take into consideration the following rules of engagement in starting a business together:
6 Rules For Starting A Business With Your Spouse
1. Determine your Personality Leanings
This key attribute will go a long way in ensuring that the couple in business will succeed in their commercial endeavor. An in-depth knowledge of the temperament and inner workings of either spouse will help in allocating responsibilities and duties, as well as mitigate any possible areas of conflict.
For instance, a wife could draw energy from being around people and interacting in a group. On the other hand, hubby could be the type that gathers strength and focus from being alone. In another instance, the man could be an early riser, who works best in the morning, while his wife is at her elements late at night.
It is advised that couples intending to start a business together should conduct a personality examination, in order to determine their individual strengths and how best they can run the business together.
2. Have Emergency Cash Saved Up
Marriages need cash to move along, so also does a business; even that run by husband and wife. It is advisable that the couple desiring to start a business together save up funds that can allow the business ideas for married couples to weather any storms at the teething stage.
3. Operate from an Office As Soon As Possible
The couple in business should have a plan to acquire office space in order to infuse professionalism into the general outlook of the venture. Even if the spouses must operate from home due to cash constraints, a way out could be designating a portion of the home for the running of the business.
In addition, the married pair could seek accommodation in co-shared work places for an affordable fee and the opportunity to interact with new people.
4. Define and Assign Roles and Responsibilities
On the heels of determining the personality types for each spouse, it is adroit that duties, tasks and responsibilities are shared according to the strengths and weaknesses of man and wife. Job descriptions can be written, where each partner clearly knows what is expected of each, as well as timelines and deadlines for delivery.
5. Schedule Time Outside the Business
It is a given that the couple starting or running a business will spend copious amounts of time at work outside the time spent at home. Based on personality types and other factors, there is the possibility that there could be some friction arising from being together, consistently over a period of time.
Therefore, it is advised that the couple intentional take out time away from each other, to pursue other interests/hobbies or to spend time alone with self or friends/other family members. Another rule of thumb is for the couple to have a period during the day or week or month, depending on their schedules when their discussions will center on other matters outside the spouse small business they run together.
6. Forge a Common Ground between Appreciation and Criticism
A couple running or starting a business will have to be each other’s praise leader and constructive critique at the same time. It is important to strike a fair and objective balance; one task should not suffer because another is carried out regularly.
In other words, praise should be made genuinely, not because one spouse seeks favours or desires to always be in the good books of the other. Criticism should also be given with kindness and empathy; not in a condescending, “I-told-you” so kind of disposition. It is important that the couple obey the basic rules of business etiquette.
Should one start a business with one’s husband/wife? Responses to this question will reveal that starting a business with your spouse can be one of the most challenging and rewarding things you can do. There will be periods of joy and frustration. There will be challenges.
However, a determined couple could find ways of translating marital bliss into the business arena. And the dividends could be worth the effort even while learning how to run a business with your spouse and stay married.