Starting a business with your significant other might seem like a bad idea on the surface; your relationship can distract business, and your business can strain your relationship. It's not an easy endeavor, but if you and your partner handle conflict well and motivate each other, you should consider turning your passions into a business.
There are many startups that are well suited for a two-person team. As with any partnership, these 10 business ideas work best when you each take on roles that best fit your skills and strengths. An entrepreneurial relationship, like all business ventures, is truly a labor of love. [Working with your significant other? Here's how to make it work.]
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.
2. Food truck vendors
For those foodies who love to travel, consider opening up shop as a food truck vendor. Whether it's music festivals, block parties or private events, food trucks are a great way to make extra money while traveling and meeting interesting people. For many food truck vendors, the freedom of the open road and the appeal of their favorite activities has led them to strike out on their own; doing exactly that with the person you love might be your chance to see the world together.
3. Ecommerce retailers
Crafty couples with a passion for DIY projects can launch a successful ecommerce business on platforms like Etsy or Zibbet. One of you can handle marketing; the other can handle customer service, and both of you can fill orders. Not only does ecommerce represent a money-making opportunity, it also offers you and your partner a chance to be creative together; what's better than having fun while turning a profit?
4. 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 like the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and begin taking on clients. If you both 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.
5. 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 everything from light housework like vacuuming and dusting to heavy-duty chores like scrubbing the kitchen and bathroom. With you and your partner working as a team, you'll be able to get these tasks done twice as quickly.
6. Pet sitting
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 rather than placing pets 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.
SAT prep and subject-help tutoring are in high demand for students across the country. With strong teaching skills, a wealth of knowledge and great personalities, you and your partner can make extra money educating local students in your home. While self-employed tutors are usually solopreneurs, this business can be even more lucrative for a couple if both of you can tutor. Otherwise, one of you can do the actual tutoring, while the other focuses on marketing and spreading the word.
8. Landscape and garden consulting
Are you and your partner master gardeners? Take your talents on the road and help others do the same. There are plenty of homeowners willing to pay for advice on turning a hum-drum 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 increasingly become conscientious about their environmental footprint.
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 vlog. 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.
10. House flipping
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 higher profit. If you have a knack for decorating, construction, architecture and the like, you can apply your skills to earn income through these projects. You and your loved one can inspire each other, bouncing ideas and fostering ingenuity.
Additional reporting by Adam C. Uzialko and Nicole Fallon.