Should You Start a Business With Your Spouse ?

I searched on google the terms starting a business with your spouse and should married couples work together. Many of the top articles had points that made no sense, others had plain wrong advice. These articles are written possibly by inexperienced psychologists or marriage counselors that have not experienced this first hand. A lot are by business writers, who are good at creating content with zero real value. (content for the sake of content).

Either way, i will be sharing my insight, and the knowledge i got researching this subject.

I have started one of my first businesses with my spouse. It was a total failure, it had such a negative impact on the business and on the relationship, that i would not recommend anyone to start a business with the spouse.

Not all, but the majority of businesses run by spouses will fail. This is a major reason why most venture capital firms avoid investing in startups run by married couples.

However if you are still determined to start a business with your significant other, consider these factors.

spouse business fights

Factors to consider before launching a business with your spouse:

1- Stubbornness: Is any of you two suborn ? If it is the case, abort mission immediately. The stubborn spouse will stick to own opinions, no matter the counter-arguments. Meanwhile the other spouse will be fighting for every decision. This gets tiring quickly, might work at home but not business.

2- Is it really a partnership? If you do not see eye to eye in the business, then things should be clear since the beginning. Otherwise sooner or later the issue will create tension. Let each know the role he/she is playing in the company.

3- Fights will follow you home: There is absolutely no way to disconnect home-work interaction, unless you both have dual personality that you can switch on demand, or maybe if you are not living together. If you have a fight during work, it will be taken home (especially by the wife). If you have a fight home about something unrelated to business, the next day at work, coldness will be felt in the air.

4- Fed up with seeing your spouse: Unless you are a new couple that still want to spend every minute with each other, you might start having the need for an alone time. This might not be the case for most couples, but it’s worth considering and seeing if it would apply to your couple. Especially that launching a business requires a lot of work and might take you away from socializing with others.

5- Not getting to see each other much: The opposite of the previous point is also possible and for exactly the same reasons. A new business requires long work hours. You might decide to work in shifts to be able to manage the early employees or avoid hiring early employees. This apply for any kind of business that operates outside the office work bracket. Example: Restaurant or cafeteria business.

6- No safety net: If you both work in the business, you have less financial stability. You both depend on the success of the business. If it fails or simply does not generate enough positive cash flow, you will be in trouble if you do not have money aside. There is no one with a paycheck or revenue – independent of the business – to pay the bills if need be. This obviously is not a very important factor if you have a nice stash of money or if you have a decent passive revenue from something else.

spouse business visions

The PROS Of Starting a Business with Your Spouse:

  • Less early expenses for hiring employees and managers.
  • Higher trust in spouse to help manage than you would in a hired manager.
  • Replacement boss, if you can not attend the business needs for some time, or need to be in another place.
  • Discover hidden talents the spouse has (management, business sense, sales, marketing).
  • Unlimited and uncapped family vacations.
  • Avoid having spouse jealousy due to good relations with work friends (in dysfunctional couples).
  • Another set of eyes that would examine the business operations.
  • Truthful insider feedback.
spouse business character

The CONS of Starting a Business with your Spouse:

  • Business friction might influence the couple relationship.
  • Relationship problem will influence the business.
  • Not possible to treat the spouse as an employee, even if incompetent.
  • Spouse might not see the business the way you do, and would want to have a say.
spouse business incompetence

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Abdallah Alaili

I'm a serial entrepreneur (mostly tech) and micro-investor (tiny), this is a blog to learn from other entrepreneurs and spread the wisdom to many more. You can find me on: Instagram - Twitter - Linkedin - more about me