According to Fortune Small Business, more and more couples are going into business together. It is estimated that 3 million of the 22 million small businesses in America are couple-owned (as of 2000).
The primary reason behind this change is thought to be that women are earning a lioness share (59%) of the college diplomas. And evidently the old mode of a man starting a company and having his wife run the office is going out the window. A good number of today’s mom & pop shops (by that we mean businesses) are started by the wife with the husband joining at a later date as business ramps up.
A number of couples do this as a means to spend more time together and work both sides of the career-life balance.
Though the article says differently, we think this is a house of cards for most couples (or is it a glass house?) Sure, it’s nice to know that your husband’s work wife is his actual wife. And that he’s probably not diddling his secretary. But spending all day, everyday with someone has to be rough. Is this tolerable because small businesses and relationships both have a limited (50/50) chance of succeeding? And what do you talk about when you get home from work? “So, uh, how was your day? Mmmmhmmm. And what did you do for lunch? Yes, it was good. And why didn’t you get that TPS report finished for me? I see. Oh my God! Wasn’t one of us supposed to pick Brian up at soccer?”
It takes a special kind of couple to succeed in a relationship period. And it takes a fairly special something to succeed with a small business. We’re guessing it would take a very special couple to make it in business together. Just a guess, but communication and division of labor are probably pretty important. Also, not letting the person that wears the bigboy pants at work run the whole show is probably important. Then one person becomes an employee. And doing your boss is only fun if it’s sneaky or there’s some element of role playing (The game’s called Disclosure, she’s Demi Moore and he’s Michael Douglas).