If you didn’t know, Austin and I have been running a business together from home since August. Austin has picked up a lot of responsibilities and it has caused quite an adjustment. Any time you and your spouse are working together on projects, it can bring added stress.
I invited Cheryl Trivet on to share with us a few tips she has about running a business with your spouse. Here’s what she has to say-
The idea of setting up a business with your spouse might appeal to some, whereas it could sound like a nightmare to others. If you come up with a business idea, running it as a couple could be a great way to get it off the ground. You have two people already invested in it, and you can easily put in a lot of work because you live together.
However, a lot can go wrong if you’re not careful. It can be risky spending so much time together and mixing your personal and work lives. There are some important matters to think about and some rules to follow if you want things to work out.
Have Equal Confidence in Your Business Idea
Before you even get started with a business, you both need to have confidence in your idea. There’s no point one of you dragging the other along if you’re not both committed to making it work. You should discuss your idea and how you want to carry it out.
Just like any business, you should create a business plan and decide how you’re going to grow it. Where will the money come from to get started? Is there a demand for what you want to sell and who is your target market? You need to work out these things if you want your business to have direction.
Outline Your Roles and Responsibilities
Clear roles and responsibilities for each of you help to make the division of labor fairer. At home, you might have a loose method of dividing up chores. But when you work together, it’s a good idea to be exact about who does what. Start by defining your strengths so you know who should take care of what.
One of you might be the inventor of a new product and know all the technical details. One of you might be the sales or customer service expert. A clear outline of who should do what helps to make sure you both know what your responsibilities are.
Be Organized with Money from the Start
Money is a big enough issue at home without it becoming a huge one at work too. But running a business can mean risking a lot of money, and it sometimes takes a long time to start making a profit. You both need to get organized with money from the beginning, especially if you’re going to rely on your business for your main source of income.
It’s a good idea to have an emergency fund as part of your personal finances to make sure you have a safety net. Have a look at https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/life-build-emergency-fund/ to help you build an emergency fund before starting your business. On the business side of things, you need to get your numbers in order, from budgeting to profit projections.
Make Big Decisions Together
There are some decisions in the business you might make without consulting each other. Once you have your defined roles, you can do the day-to-day stuff without constant checking in. However, there are many decisions that need to be made together. For example, you should consult each other about the equipment you need for your business. Let’s say you’re setting up an embroidery business.
While spending all your time together might sound fun at first, it can quickly become stressful. You get up together, work together all day, then relax together in the evening.
Getting out and doing things on your own will help you to get some space. They do say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. You should try to do things with friends and have some space to yourself. Of course, you should spend fun time together too. Don’t let it all turn into work.
Move Out of Your Home ASAP
Many new businesses start off as home businesses. It’s convenient and makes a lot of sense. But running your business from your home as a couple isn’t always the best idea. If you need more space, try to move into a proper office as soon as you can. You can each have your own space, so you’re not under each other’s feet all the time.
Running a business as a couple can be tough. If you want to survive, you need to stick to a few rules.