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Strategy 4 questions to ask before starting a business with your spouse

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How do you know if you and your spouse should pursue a shared passion and start your own business?

play Simon Kabu and his wife Sarah Kabu. The couple run Bonfire Adventures, one of Kenya's leading tour and travel firms. (Courtesy)

Starting a business with your significant other might appear like the ideal situation.

The rewards can be great but when things go wrong, you can potentially ruin both your marriage and your business.

play Jay Z and Beyonce, one of the world's famous business partners. (Courtesy)

 

So how do you know if you and your spouse should pursue a shared passion and start your own business?

Before deciding, ask yourselves the following questions:

Do you have good communication with your spouse?

If your marriage is not built on trust and a healthy communication, having them in your business will only make things worse.

 

Avoid bringing personal issues to the business as it is bound to become a distraction to other employees. Make an agreement to discuss such issues before or after work.

Who owns the business/who's the boss?

Be clear on what role your spouse will play in the company and whether he or she is experienced for the job.

If either partner is under-qualified and overpaid, it could create problems with other members of your team who may be paid less and have to pick up the slack for an incompetent person.

play Be clear on what role your spouse will play in the company and whether he or she is experienced for the job. (Courtesy)

 

You should draft employment agreements with job responsibilities so each partner knows their defined role.

Are you inviting your spouse into your business to save the marriage?

If you are feeling like you and your spouse are drifting apart because of work, the last thing you want to do is have them work with you to repair the damage.

play If you are feeling like you and your spouse are drifting apart because of work, the last thing you want to do is have them work with you to repair the damage. (Courtesy)

 

It may result in worsening the relationship besides making the business suffer as well.

Focus on your marriage first and once the two of you are on the right track with your relationship you can explore involving the business.

Do you have the same mindset of success?

As a couple, it’s important that you not only have the same goals but that you share an equal commitment to the new venture.

An unequal balance will only bring out feelings of resentment if one partner is contributing more than the other.

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