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Navigating the Delicate Dance: Should Your Spouse Join Your Painting Contracting Business?

As a painting contractor, one of the most common questions I receive is whether or not one's spouse should join the business. This is a critical decision that can significantly impact both your professional and personal lives. In this article, we will delve into the various factors and considerations surrounding this delicate dance and provide insights and advice on how to make the best decision for your situation.

1. Convenience: The Double-Edged Sword

One of the main reasons spouses often join the business is due to convenience. They support your goals and dreams and want to help you grow your business. However, convenience can be a double-edged sword. While it may seem like an easy solution to hire your spouse, it can lead to unforeseen complications down the road.

2. The Promise Trap

Many times, spouses are brought into the business based on promises of how great the company will be and the benefits they will receive. Unfortunately, these promises often go unfulfilled, leading to disappointment and resentment. To avoid this trap, ensure that both you and your spouse have realistic expectations of the business's potential growth and the role your spouse will play in it.

3. Cheap Labor: A Dangerous Mindset

It can be tempting to view hiring your spouse as a way to save on labor costs. However, this mindset can be detrimental to both your business and your relationship. Your spouse deserves fair compensation for their work, and underpaying them can lead to dissatisfaction and tension.

4. The Jacked-Up Job Description

When bringing a spouse into the business, it's essential to have a clear and accurate job description. Many times, spouses are expected to handle a wide range of tasks that require different skill sets. This can be overwhelming and lead to burnout. To avoid this, ensure that your spouse's role is well-defined and tailored to their strengths and abilities.

5. Evaluating the Situation: Messages for Spouses and Contractors

If you're a spouse considering joining the business, ensure that your partner has a proven track record of profitability and discipline. Additionally, demand fair pay from day one, and don't be afraid to walk away if the situation doesn't meet your expectations.

For contractors, it's crucial to recognize that your spouse is not a savior who will fix all your problems. Work on improving yourself and your business before bringing your spouse into the fold. If you are already in a situation where your spouse is working for you and things aren't going well, consider reevaluating and making changes to ensure a healthier working environment.

6. Top Tips for Success

If you decide to bring your spouse into your painting contracting business, consider the following tips for success:

  • Understand each other's strengths and weaknesses.

  • Write clear job descriptions and establish clear work hours.

  • Set clear outcomes and expectations for the position.

  • Ensure fair pay from day one.

  • Treat the role as a real job, not just a favor for your spouse.


Deciding whether or not to bring your spouse into your painting contracting business is a complex and nuanced decision. By considering the factors discussed in this article and implementing the tips provided, you can make an informed choice that benefits both your business and your relationship.

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