The difficulties of starting a business on your own is a particularly challenging feat in itself, but going into business with your spouse presents an even more unique set of challenges. Having a spouse as a business partner is a fantastic way to earn your household income and split the burden of the business between two more than able minds. There are however, certain considerations a couple would have to take into account to ensure a successful business and a blossoming relationship. Here we look at the potential pitfalls of such an alliance, and some advice on how to mitigate these issues.
Separate work and home
Ironically, one of the primary concerns of starting a business with your spouse is separation. Your business adds another level of commitment to your marriage, but in a much more direct level. Are you prepared to spend 24 hours a day with your partner? The long working hours and the intense workloads can be incredibly demanding for you as business partners, but that doesn’t make it impossible to do successfully. One concrete piece of advice is that you must be disciplined in separating work life and home life. You must create and adhere to boundaries which you both agree to in order to allow your business to flourish.
Lay out responsibilities
In addition to the time you spend together, you can’t forget that you actually have to run the business. One sticking point for spousal business partners are the duties which you both have. Is one half of the partnership overqualified for the role they have been assigned? Are your working styles the same? An important part of setting up your business should be clearly setting out the roles and responsibilities each spouse will have when you launch. A great way to lay this out is to formulate a business plan in order to make clear the direction you want to take as a partnership, whose responsibility is what and how you will achieve your goals.
Do you share the drive?
A key question you should ask each other is whether you are both motivated about the vision. Do you share the same drive for your business’ success? There will be a serious struggle if your business partnership is particularly lopsided, so honestly laying out your passion for your business idea should be a primary consideration. But don’t forget, you both bring unique skillsets to the table. Utilise this. Two minds are better than one and having a partner to help streamline business processes will be an invaluable bonus.
If you would like any help with writing a business plan to get you and your partner off to a flying start, call cbm on 01604 420 420 or use the contact form on the right.