Family-Owned Businesses

Building a Business with Your Spouse

Written by Chukwuma Asala for Gaebler Ventures

When you are thinking about starting a business with your spouse, it is important that you consider what new stresses may come into play. This article aims to introduce you to some issues that may cause conflict with your loved one.

Let's face it; working with other people is not easy.

You rarely see married couples in business because most do not know how to work with each other. Getting along in a marital relationship is vastly different than a business relationship. Here are a few things both partners can focus on to make this relationship work.

Work should be a big part of your life

Work can be something both you and your spouse look forward to. This should be a time for bonding as well as a time for productivity. Work and play need not be separate times as a well executed partnership should fulfill both spouses. After a hard day's work, it's a good sign if you can't wait to spend more time together.

Maintain a nexus of friends outside of the core relationship

One of the common hurdles facing working couples is the difficulty to develop friendships outside the marriage. Even though your spouse is your top priority, they may not be able to meet all emotional needs. Support from friends is key in ensuring that you both do not grow sick of each other's company.

Establish roles

A lot of relationships are filled with unnecessary tension because the roles are not clearly defined. If you choose to go into business with your spouse, it is important that these roles are specifically defined. Doing so can help establish what is expected and who needs to take care of what specific tasks. If these lines get blurry the business may be affected. If you feel your relationship may not be able to handle this, it might be a good idea to reconsider your business plans.

Safe time

The most important tip on managing your relationships as a spouse and business partner is to have safe time. Safe time is a specific time during the day when business is put on the back burner and not discussed. Working at home does not necessarily mean you are always working. It will be tempting to continue to talk about business; especially if some tasks were left incomplete. It's best to resist this urge and just sit down and have quiet time with your partner.

Chukwuma Asala is an international student from Nigeria who is studying to earn an MBA from the State University of New York in Albany. He has analyzed more than 20 industry case studies throughout his education thus far, and hopes to bring some of his business knowledge to

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