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Do this before starting a business with your spouse

You have a bright idea, plenty of enthusiasm and you make a great team. Why not go into business with your better half?

Going into business with your spouse or partner can be tricky. Before setting up shop, you and your future business partner should have a frank discussion about your new venture. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Develop your vision: Get on the same page from the start. What is your goal for your company? Running a small business is hectic, especially as a married couple. It helps to sit down and talk about a clear mission statement before the going gets tougher. That way, you can stay on track by referring to the initial direction you wanted to take your business.
  • Define your roles: When starting your own business, you’ll likely be wearing multiple hats. Play to your individual strengths to cut down on confusion. Are you a numbers whiz or a people person? Deciding which role each of you will play allows you to divide and conquer your to-do list.
  • Build upan emergency fund: Businesses take some time to get off the ground. Instead of racking up credit card debt, do yourself a favor and build up a financial cushion before you start. A safety net provides stability until you can establish steady cash flow.
  • Have a backup plan: Keep in mind that starting a business is ultimately a gamble. Prepare for the worst by considering the range of possibilities ahead of you. What if one of you wants to leave the business? What happens to the business if you get divorced? Sitting down for potentially uncomfortable discussions beforehand can help you think more clearly down the road.

When you are married to your business partner, the strength of your personal connection can translate to triumph in the professional world. Educate yourself on the potential roadblocks that lie ahead, and it will be easier to avoid them.

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