Starting a family business as a couple | Fola Daniel Adelesi

Making extra income for the family is something that always comes up in the conversation of couples. Couples can easily talk about what to do, apart from paid jobs, to make money in order to cover the bills that are ever-rising when the salary is not rising at all. The good part of a conversation like this is that couples can easily come up with ideas for the things to do and how to make them work. The difficult part is where most couples have to go into the business together.

I have seen a few successful couples who are doing businesses together and the business is doing well. I also know that in some homes, the business they started together was what ended the joy in that home and probably ended the marriage.

What’s the problem with doing business with someone that you really love? Well, it does not seem like there is a problem with that but couples will always have their weaknesses and when business begins, the weaknesses of those couples will come to play. It is always a big issue if the weakness of the couple is in the area of money.

Before a business begins, there are some couples who already know their financial habits and they know they can never go into any business together with their spouses. They have seen all the possible outcomes and the fights that will arise as a result of money. Others may not see this coming because the couple just seems fine until they have to do business together.

There are people who will not have issues with money but will not be able to tale emotions out of the business. For example, if one of the couples is a giver who does not know how to set limits, there will be issues in the business. Family and friends will visit the business and this giver will take as much as possible in order to give to them or give them the free hand to take as much as they want. When people are given the free hand to take as much as they want from the business, who pays for it? If you have to pay for it then there is no problem. When you don’t pay for it and expect your spouse to understand, there will be issues because you’re gradually killing the business by eating into the profit of the business.

There could also be the issue of laziness. One part may always sit around and do very little while the other person does all the job. In some homes, this will also become an issue so it is very important to have a serious conversation before going into business together as a couple.

Doing business together will work for some couples but it will never work for some other couples. There are those who just need to have clear agreements and they will be good but with some, even if the agreements were drawn in heaven and delivered by the best lawyers, the business will have issues.

Ask yourself these questions before going into any business with your partner:

1.     Can we both separate business from our relationship for the business to succeed?

2.     Do we have the right orientation for business or is there one of us who simply believes in getting paid?

3.     Have we been properly trained for this business we are getting into our do we have the knowledge required to run the business?

4.     How will running the business impact our relationship as a couple and our family?

5.     Does someone need to be more involved in the business while the other person is more involved in keeping the home front running?

6.     Who has the needed skill to sustain the business and should be more involved?

7.     Who is the one who is better at managing money?

8.     How do we scale this business while managing our growing children if there are children?

9.     What do we do when there are demands for help from people or family members and the help will come from or affect the business?

These questions may not be comprehensive but they certainly address the major issues the business will have even before you hit the ground running. If you answer all these questions honestly and you let the right person handle the areas where they are stronger, the business will work and there should be little issues connecting the business to your marriage.

It will be a lot easier to tackle issues that are business challenges than it is to tackle issues arising because it is a couple running the business. When the business eventually succeeds, you must not run with the mindset that it must be taken over by your children. While you can hand over the company to your children as the owners, they must bring in people to competently manage the company or business. Your business may be a legacy for your children but if they are not trained to manage the business, you will be ruining that legacy yourself by handing it over to them.

I really encourage couples to go into business together because of several reasons that include:

1.     You can both discuss work-life balance

2.     With love interfering in the workplace, you both enjoy working or running the business.

3.     Running your own businesses allows you to plan around raising your children and spending quality time with them.

4.     If the business succeeds, you have something to pass on to your children

If you are currently running a business with your spouse and there are issues in the business, you both need to come together and discuss honestly how you will keep the business and keep your marriage.

Running a business together as a couple is good but ensure you have it well thought out and review things as you progress.


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