Can You and Your Spouse Cut it as Business Partners?
When you married your spouse, you promised to create and share a life together, but does that mean you can also create and share a business? Many couples successfully helm a business together, but they also face many unique challenges. Below are a few important pros and cons to consider before jumping into business with your spouse.
Let’s start with the Pros:
Pro – A Business Partner You Can Trust
Finding a solid, trustworthy, and responsible business partner who truly shares your vision of the company is a huge challenge. The dustbin of history is filled with businesses that failed because its partners failed to work well with each other. Your spouse is someone you already trust and who (hopefully) understands and respects you.
Pro – Sharing the Burden
Your spouse can help shoulder all the burdens of running a business, allowing you to divvy up the responsibilities so that you each can focus on the areas of your unique strengths. Heading a company by yourself can be lonely and stressful. With a spouse as a partner, you always have someone who understands your worries and can share in your triumphs.
Pro – Flexibility
You and your spouse are a team at home and at work. If you need to pick up the kids from school, you won’t get a write-up from the boss. Sharing a business means that you both can create your schedules together around the shared priorities in your lives. If you have young children, this extra flexibility can be especially welcomed.
That all sounds great, but there are some Cons as well:
Con – Troubles at Home May Lead to Troubles at Work
One of the biggest risks of partnering with your spouse is that troubles at home could leak into the office. If you two are experiencing marriage difficulties, it could affect how well you work together, stress out your employees, and distract you from growing the company. Also, if you end up separating, it could jeopardize the company if you fight over ownership.
Con – Too Much Time Together?
As much as you love your spouse, you still need a little space every now and again. Small irritations can chafe if you see your spouse morning, noon, and night. This can be especially challenging if you are having a work or personal conflict and can’t get away to cool down.
Con – Double the Risk
Starting a business is a risky endeavor, and you must accept the chance of failure as you hang your shingle and open your doors. When your spouse joins you in the business, all of your eggs are in the single basket of your business. Without a second outside income, a few slow business months could really hurt your family’s financials.
Every couple’s situation is different, and a business partnership may work great for some and go down in flames for others. Communication is the pillar of a strong marriage and a strong business partnership. Talk it out with your spouse. Discuss the pros and cons as well as your concerns and worries. Together, the two of you will make the right decision.