7 Tips for Starting a Business With Your Spouse

Published on July 1, 2022

So you’re thinking about starting a business with your spouse or loved one. And why wouldn’t you? After all, two heads are better than one, and it makes perfect sense to start a business with someone you already know, trust and love. Growing a business with your spouse can be incredibly rewarding but can also have its own set of unique challenges. How well you work with your spouse is going to play a huge role in the success of your business together. You’re both invested in the business venture, so you’ll most likely work harder and smarter than if you were working with (or for) someone.

Choosing the right business opportunity for you and your spouse can also have an impact on your overall success. There are plenty of opportunities to choose from, but not every business is a perfect match for every couple. You need to evaluate which is best for you and your spouse. How much are you willing to invest financially? How much time can you commit? What equipment is needed? Do you need a special degree, certification or training to get started? These are all factors to consider when starting a new business.

While traditional businesses like restaurants, laundromats, boutiques, and cleaning companies are all popular options, sometimes a non-traditional, home-based or even online business is your best bet! When you start a web design business with SiteSwan, you’re provided with all the tools and resources you need to run your business from home for a low, flat monthly fee. With no prior experience needed, it’s easy for you and your spouse to learn as you go, grow at your own pace and determine which aspects of the business you want to be responsible for!

With the right strategy, mutual support, and proper planning, your spouse can be a great business partner. But, before engaging in an official business partnership, it’s a good idea to find out what works best for you both, respectively, and make sure you’re on the same page about how you plan to run your business.

Review the seven tips below to ensure going into business with your spouse is the right decision so you can grow a successful company and maintain a healthy relationship.

1. Understand each other's strengths and weaknesses

Right from the start, it’s important to identify each of your strengths and weaknesses. While this may be an uncomfortable conversation to have, you need to be honest and speak freely so that you can figure out what aspects of the business you should each be in charge of. Find out what they are good at, what they like to do, and how they can contribute. These contributions may be financial, direct help on marketing/sales, or whatever else you may need as your business grows.

For example, you may consider yourself an extrovert and enjoy talking to people so sales would be a great fit for you while, on the other hand, your spouse is a bit shy but can skillfully work with numbers so she or he can manage the business finances. This allows you to concentrate on things you’re good at, enjoy doing, and can benefit the business. 

2. Establish your vision for the business

Before you even start to discuss business ideas, you need to sit down and decide what your vision is for the business you want to start. To establish a vision means understanding what you want your business to look like and what you hope to get out of your business. Identifying  long-term and short-term goals and creating tentative timelines can help you paint a vivid picture of your vision. Especially in the beginning, you’ll want to have a shared or common vision for your business, whether that's going after a million-dollar market or creating a side project you can work on in the evenings.

This doesn't mean you have to agree with each other's every instinct—in fact, differing opinions and perspectives can be a positive thing. But before you get into discussing which side hustle idea you're going to pursue together, make sure both of your visions are aligned. To help lead the conversation, try creating a vision board, with text, images, and other graphics, and present it to one another. From there, you can work in unison to develop a vision for your business. 

3. Discuss a plan for handling finances

When you start a business with your spouse, you'll want to determine which risks are acceptable for each partner and where you will be crossing financial boundaries. For example, will you have to discuss every purchase decision before it’s made? Are you splitting profits equally or is one of you investing more in the business than the other? Discussing these matters in advance allows you to have conversations about your risks and boundaries before it's too late — something that is vital to long-term business success. Also discuss plans for dealing with emergencies: Emergencies happen and it’s important to plan ahead so you can deal with them together as a team. This includes coming up with an emergency fund so you don’t feel like you have to choose between paying rent or getting medical care when disaster strikes.

Unlike brick-and-mortar businesses that require a large upfront investment, a web design business is a low-risk, low-cost option that allows you the flexibility to invest as little or as much as you want into your business. In addition, it’s a great business opportunity for you to start with a spouse because it allows you the chance to work together without the concern of overextending your funds, one or both of you can still work a full-time job, and you can scale overtime. The income potential is also an important factor to consider and with your own web design agency you can decide on how you want to price your services.  

4. Work as a team

One of the biggest benefits of starting a business with your spouse is that you have someone to rely on as you build and grow your business. They’re also there to support you emotionally and help you stay focused on the big picture, even when it seems tempting to focus only on immediate needs. Supporting one another through those ups and downs—whether they be triumphs or setbacks—can strengthen your relationship over time, even as it serves as a foundation for your new business.

Plus, once you get established, working together can give you more flexibility in how and where you work. You can choose to work at home on the weekend when your kids are around or at a coffee shop during the week while they’re at school. All in all, working as a team rather than a solo entrepreneur can help you stay motivated and determined so you can reach your goals.

5. Identify roles and shared responsibilities 

One of your top priorities in a new business partnership should be to share responsibilities and do tasks you are good at or capable of doing. When choosing roles, make sure you have checks and balances in place to ensure both parties are running things fairly.

Some people assume when it comes to starting a business with their spouse the same roles will apply as you have them in your personal lives. However, try to pick roles that make sense rather than falling into habitual tasks based on gender roles; this could be limiting and not accurately reflect the ability or talents of you or your spouse when it comes to launching a business. In reality, you need to take on your own separate roles and figure out how to collaborate on different aspects of the business. It may seem difficult at first, but with proper division of labor and good communication it’s entirely possible. Work together to make a list and determine who is going to work on which tasks. Within that list, also choose what responsibilities you can work on jointly and stick to it. 

6. Communicate effectively

If you’re new to business ownership, don’t be afraid to ask questions when it comes to your business. Many small-business owners go through rapid phases of trial and error before they find success. The more open lines of communication you have with your spouse, the better off both parties will be in handling disagreements and resolving disputes. For example, if one partner has strong opinions about what kinds of customers to work with or how to handle certain situations, there needs to be a transparent discussion so that both partners are on board with what's happening with their company.

Effectively communicating with one another can also ensure that one person isn't doing all of the heavy lifting by themselves; rather, each partner should have an equal say in how things are handled so that there is no resentment later on down the road because one partner feels like they're being taken advantage of. It’s easy to get caught up in the details of running a business that you don’t allocate enough time to collaborate with your partner. Designate time each week to discuss different aspects of your business so you’ll know what’s going on and how you can help each other.

7. Make time for each other outside of work 

When you have a business with your spouse, that means spending all of your time together. It’s important to strike a healthy balance between work and play so that you don’t get burned out, which could lead to fighting. Make sure you’re both aware of each other’s goals and passions — but also carve out time for yourselves. Make time for one another outside of work so you can enjoy each other's company, support each other and not allow work to interfere with family time. This is especially important if one or both of you has kids already — you don't want life at home getting in the way of time spent with them.

As your own boss, you can determine how much you want to work and when you make time for personal affairs and leisure activities. Find time for date nights and make sure you aren't interrupting bedtime stories just because something urgent happened at work. 

Start a Web Design Agency Powered by SiteSwan with your Spouse

Starting a business with your spouse can be an extremely fulfilling and an effective way to do business. After all, who knows you better than your significant other? With strong communication, established goals and a healthy work-life balance, you’ll be able to enjoy life as a business owner while also spending more time with your loved one. If each partner is dedicated to making the business a success and are willing to be flexible or make adjustments at times, running a profitable business will be attainable.

If you’ve reviewed the 7 points listed in this article and are ready to start a business with your spouse or loved one, don’t delay. Starting a web design business with SiteSwan is a great option because you can start a rewarding career and make money doing something you enjoy with your spouse. Plus, we give you everything you need to start right away. Sign up and get started today!

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