Though starting a business with your significant other might seem like a bad idea to some couples, for others, it might be a dream job. In fact, your bond may make you excellent business partners.
Working with your partner can indeed distract you from your business or strain your relationship, but it could just as easily bring you closer together while doubling the passion to make it succeed. If you two handle conflict well and motivate each other, you should consider turning your passions into a business.
Business ideas for couples
Many startups are well suited for a two-person team. As with any partnership, these 13 business ideas work best when each of you takes on a role that fits your skills and strengths. An entrepreneurial relationship, like all business ventures, is truly a labor of love. Here are 13 businesses you and your partner could start together:
1. Catering company
Some couples fight over who should cook dinner, but for others, preparing a meal together is a bonding activity. If you and your partner fall into the latter category – and are good cooks – you may want to consider starting your own catering business. Let the resident gourmand cover most of the food prep while the other serves as a customer service rep and sous-chef. [Read related article: 4 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Business with a Spouse]
2. Coffee shop
Sometimes, socializing with the public is what couples need to successfully work together. If that sounds like you, consider opening a small coffee shop. A coffee shop does not require a lot of space, and having a limited menu is a good way to focus on high-quality or specialty items without having to stretch yourself thin. One of you can head the customer service while the other works on the coffee. Think about hiring a manager and employee so you can take turns having days off without closing the shop.
3. Food truck vendor
If you're foodies who love to travel, consider becoming food truck vendors. Whether you're setting up shop at music festivals, block parties or private events, food trucks are a great way to make extra money while traveling and meeting interesting people. The freedom of the open road and the appeal of their favorite activities has led many food truck vendors to start such a venture, and doing so with the person you love might be even better.
4. E-commerce retailer
Crafty couples with a passion for DIY projects can launch a on platforms such as Etsy or Zibbet. One of you can handle marketing, the other can manage customer service and both of you can fill orders. E-commerce not only represents a money-making opportunity but also offers you and your partner a chance to be creative together. What's better than having fun while turning a profit?
5. Online reseller
Perhaps you are a couple who loves shopping together. If you enjoy looking through garage sales and thrift shops and are knowledgeable about antiques or vintage items, you might consider being an online reseller, as sometimes, the items you come across are valuable and can be resold in a niche market. Antiques, old toys and comic books are just a few examples of items that might catch a potential shopper's eye, especially online.
Start by opening an online store through social media platforms such as Facebook Marketplace or a site like eBay, where both of you can advertise your items locally and garner sales. If your business grows, consider expanding into a brick-and-mortar location.
6. Fitness instruction
If you're a couple that runs and hits the gym together, launching a fitness business could be right for you. Whether you're interested in personal training or class instruction, you can become certified through organizations such as the Athletics and Fitness Association of America and then begin accepting clients. If you and your partner specialize in the same area, you can double the number of sessions or classes you book. Alternatively, if one of you is a personal trainer and the other teaches a class, you can expand your client base through your service variety.
7. Home cleaning service
For working parents with long hours, cleaning the house can fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Offer your weekends and evenings to these families, for housework chores such as vacuuming, dusting, floor washing and bathroom cleaning. With you and your partner working as a team, you'll be able to get these tasks done twice as quickly.
8. Pet sitting business
Do you and your partner love animals? Spread the word to friends and neighbors that you're available to watch their pets while the owners go on a vacation or weekend trip. Pet owners often feel more comfortable leaving their furry friends in the care of a trusted homeowner than placing them in a boarding facility, so getting referrals shouldn't be too difficult. Offering two caretakers means more individualized attention for your clients' pets, which can be a great selling point.
9. Landscape and garden consultancy
Are you and your partner master gardeners? Take your talents on the road, and help others do the same. Plenty of homeowners are willing to pay for advice on turning a humdrum backyard garden into a real Eden. Beyond gardening, you can help homeowners create a more environmentally friendly backyard by helping them install rain gardens, rain barrels and compost piles. These types of services are becoming more popular as people become increasingly mindful of their environmental footprint.
Do you think you have what it takes to be a YouTube star? Documenting your life might sound cheesy, but it can benefit you financially. If you're a creative couple with stories and ideas, share them through a blog or video blog. You can turn your blog into a business by maintaining an interesting theme and posting content regularly. Whether it's a collection of travels or entries of date ideas, your blog can boost your income and strengthen your bond.
11. Online teaching and tutoring service
If you enjoy books, you may find online teaching or tutoring a fruitful business idea that can be done from the comfort of your own home. With remote learning becoming widespread during the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are looking for ways to supplement their children's education. Online tutors are in great demand, as are online courses, like those for cooking or learning musical instruments, as people look for hobbies they can do at home.
12. House-flipping business
You can start a house-flipping business with your partner by buying existing homes or run-down properties for an affordable price and fixing them up to resell for a profit. If you have a knack for remodeling and selling, you can apply your skills to earn income through these projects. You and your loved one can inspire each other by brainstorming ideas and fostering ingenuity.
13. Travel agency
If you're a couple who loves traveling around the world, you and your significant other can open a travel agency to help others experience wonderful vacations. While traveling isn't necessarily at the top of everyone's mind during the pandemic, once normalcy returns, those who have been cooped up at home for the past year will be itching to plan getaways. Your travel business can help people plan and schedule their vacations, as well as provide advice on places to visit and things to do while there.
Key takeaway: There are a lot of business opportunities for couples, such as catering, running a food truck, reselling vintage goods and flipping houses.
Benefits of couple-based businesses
Starting a business with your significant other is a risky move. It's important to remember that there are bound to be both good and bad times, and as with any other relationship, a business partnership requires a lot of work. However, it can also have advantages for both your entrepreneurial venture and your growth as a couple. Here are a few of the potential benefits of running a business as a couple:
Improved communication is an automatic benefit of working as a couple. From your business's launch to your daily operations, communication is your most valuable tool for succeeding as a business couple, as it will help you define your roles and responsibilities, and accomplish your short- and long-term goals.
Starting a business and working together can lead to a new appreciation and respect for each other, both personally and professionally. Few things are more empowering than understanding each other's priorities and goals, but that comes with working hard and sacrificing a lot to create an enterprise bigger than yourselves, for the benefit of yourselves.
The ability to easily plan time off together is a great benefit of working as a couple. When you don't have a business together, you have to switch around dates with other co-workers to get your vacation times in sync, which is stressful and time-consuming. By working as business partners, however, the timing and length of your vacations is not reliant on other employees and company restrictions.
Your successes will mean a lot more if you're celebrating with your partner, considering the effort and time both of you invest in your work. Relating more to each other through your job will make those victories much sweeter and your time together even more special.
Key takeaway: There are several benefits of working as a couple, including improved communication, a greater sense of respect and appreciation, and the bond that comes from sharing your entrepreneurial experience.
Additional reporting by Jad Kaado.