Starting a business with your husband might seem ideal: you’ll spend more time together, you’ll be working with someone you already trust and you’ll get to know each other better. You may think all will be great because you get along so well but you should expect bumps and problems along the way.
While any business partnership can be difficult, if things go wrong you will not only ruin your business but your marriage also. Here are some tips that will help you start and run a business with your husband.
1. Divide Responsibilities
It should be clear from the beginning who does what. You should both know your personalities and things you are both good at but do try to keep an open mind. While you know your husband and how he is at home, you may be surprised by his professional skills.
Write job descriptions for each of you and don’t ever step into each other’s turf. A clear separation of your responsibilities will avoid many arguments. You should both agree that division of labor suits you best.
2. Have Separate Offices
Even though most family businesses start at home, you should get an office space as soon as it is practical. And when you do, don’t both use the same office but have your own space. Yes, you work together but that doesn’t mean that you also have to be together all the time.
This will help you both focus on your own specific tasks and you will have increased productivity. Communicate with each other as much as you would with any other business partner, at least during the work hours.
3. Define Work Hours
It is very tempting in the beginning to talk about work regardless of the hour of the day. This happens especially if you have a home business and you can’t tell where your personal life ends and your professional one begins.
Create a schedule and set clear working hours none of you
have to cross. Don’t talk about the business in your private hours, at least not more than you would talk if you wouldn’t be working together. Don’t let
your business take over your whole relationship.
4. Have the Same Vision
Make the plan of your business before you begin. Sit with your husband and discuss how the both of you see the future of the business. Make sure you are on the same page. Needless to say, if you want different things, soon there will be trouble.
Talk about the risks you are willing to take and how much money you are willing to invest in the business and if this investment can in any way cut into your personal or children’s’ funds. Again, make sure you have the same vision and you’re not working towards different goals.
5. Have a Good Childcare Plan
Even if you don’t have children yet, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to think about the time when you will. You need a good child care strategy even if you have a home business – children require attention and you won’t be able to handle them and your business duties.
You have several good choices in taking care of your children. You could hire a part-time or even full-time babysitter if you are both very busy all day long. Or you can swap childcare duties so either of you is responsible for your children at one time or another.
While starting a business with your spouse can be challenging, it is also rewarding. To make it a successful business you will have to work together on new, unfamiliar levels. Try to focus on both your personal and your business relationship.