View Full Version : Do any of you work with your spouse?

09-25-2011, 01:47 PM
I was just curious. My wife and I do everything together. She is a very important part of my PC & Tech business. She handles the office, paperwork, phone, billing and emails. This allows me to concentrate on the repairs etc..

Couldn't do it without her.

Anyone else work with thier spouse in the business?

09-25-2011, 02:08 PM
My wife and I work together but handle different aspects of the business. By not being together all the time it keeps us happy and not bickering. :)

09-25-2011, 10:48 PM
I've run businesses with my Father, which was tough, we fought all the time, he is very old school but we could only do it because I could stand up to him.

I've run a businessness with my brother, he and I are allot alike but strong in complimentary ways. Seldom hit roadblocks as we both respect each others strengths and we outline areas of responsibility.

I've run my computer business with all three of my sons as store managers and it was smooth most of the time. It makes for some great tax deductible getaway meetings.

The only way that it works to have Maria manage a store, is for me to be there less than 10-15% of the time.

09-26-2011, 02:46 AM
I used to work with my Ex. Not in this business, but in a travelling theatre company that we were part of for several years. We'd tour with one or two other people for 4-5 months at a time in specific regions. We spent, for example, two years (4 tours) in French-speaking Europe and 1.5 years in Poland. That's 24/7 and doesn't include the working together we did back in Canada.

It had it's moments but I'm not sure I'd want to do it with my current wife. A little time apart is often a good thing for a marriage.

09-26-2011, 05:28 AM
Nope, not married, but hope to never marry anyone in the business or help with the support end either. I just would like a day when I come home and hear about their job, their day and it has nothing to do with my world.

I have hope :p

09-26-2011, 02:20 PM
I've run businesses with my Father, which was tough, we fought all the time, he is very old school but we could only do it because I could stand up to him.....

I worked for my Father for 12 years. He fired me twice and I quit 3 times, LOL

09-26-2011, 03:43 PM
my wife handles the entry level comptuer repair, such as pc restores and virus cleaning and i handle the higher end stuff, such as server builds and network upgrades.

she handles the billing as well as I am a push over and give to many breaks, lol, thats about the only think we fight on

09-26-2011, 04:11 PM
It had it's moments but I'm not sure I'd want to do it with my current wife. A little time apart is often a good thing for a marriage.


On the one hand, I WISH I could get my "career mom" wife to handle calls, scheduling, bills, etc. and be a part of my Computer Guy team which is currently only a team of one... but as it stands right now, she won't have anything to do with it. On the other hand, that's probably a good thing, though.

But we do work together, AS PARENTS... that's about the extent of it, and probably all we could handle.

Funny thing is, because I work my main gig in a different city where I have a separate apartment, we don't even live together 4.5 days a week. While that may hopefully change later this year, (I may have to switch careers to pull it off - too little work for me in our home area,) I think the secret to our good marriage as of late is actually being apart most of the week.

As much as I WISH it were different, the fact is that if we not only lived together full time, but also worked together, I'm sure we'd be at each others' throats all the time.

09-26-2011, 10:22 PM
my wife handles the entry level comptuer repair, such as pc restores and virus cleaning and i handle the higher end stuff, such as server builds and network upgrades.

she handles the billing as well as I am a push over and give to many breaks, lol, thats about the only think we fight on

This is the biggest fights my wife and I have. I am a big push over, even though we do very well.

09-27-2011, 06:27 PM
Speaking of giving our service away-We all have that need to make others happy and like us. Or what ever other ego trait that pulls on us to discount or give away our time and profits.

Little story that happened to me years ago-

I drove my van on vacation 1300 miles and it acted like crap so I took it in while I was there, to get a tune up. That tune up came back $748. I was so shocked and pissed. But then I analyzed every charge and thought about it all the way home and I realized that I wasn't charging professionally in my own business. So while some things that auto shop did, I did not do, I really learned a lesson which helped my invoicing from then on.

All the parts were marked up at least 40% above what I can buy them from Auto zone, plus I know he gets a discount so he probably marked everything up 100%. But I cannot complain about that as I know it is standard practice.

He charged for cleaning up the van. He charged for topping fluids. He charged for cleaning plugs and replacing wires.

He charged a labor component and a parts component for each line item.

When I got the van back, it worked flawlessly.

09-28-2011, 12:59 AM
My Wife and oldest daughter work for me about 5 hrs a week each.
Wife helps with the books, pickups & drop offs and is learning printer repair.
Daughter is learning PC repair and taking care of weekly administrative tasks like checking on the backups, Antivirus & WSUS status for a few customers.

10-04-2011, 05:06 PM
My husband has had his business for 15 years and we have come to work together through dating and me coming in the shop one day and him wanting to show me what he does. I started doing it and I was orginally coming in to do the administrative work, organization and marketing but I am a "tech" now doing alot of the software and some hardware work.

Wives who work in the business, what do you do. I am currently now after 18months of being here at the shop getting to the organization part of the business. I will do the tech work but my passion are the previous areas I mentioned.

How are some of you balancing kids? We have 10 all together but have 4 left in the home. 6, 8, 16, and 17. Right now 17 can build computers but is done with is fill of computer work. So we hav ehim doing breakdowns of parts in our store. My 16 dd has no interest unless it is checking people in and workting register. The 8 year old dd is all about the business stiff she even pretends to own her own business when she plays with friends. The 6 yr old ds has NO interest unless it is breaking things apart!

Do you guys keep your own books? I was wanting to fire the accountant and just run Quickbooks.


10-04-2011, 08:56 PM
Maria is on again off again my girlfriend. She manages my store.

She does everything technically but hates numbers so she refuses to do QB's other than entering the job orders and invoices. She is not real good about remembering to receive the payments in qB's when she takes payments.

I finish the QB's at home. I am semi retired and treat myself as a slack resource meaning that I don't go into the store unless they are really busy and have jobs that Maria and our techs cannot do (higher network skills).

It's hard to have a date where we do not talk or even argue about business so we have to remind ourselves to leave work at work.

Quickbooks can be helpful. The pro version allows estimates/invoices. I do not recommend using any of the integrated pay extra services from Intuit (payroll, emailing, remote access, visa processing....) with the exception of their web site creator for a new startup.

We use the estimate function which we customized to be Job order. Then it turns into an invoice when complete. When picked up we receive payments against the invoice to clear each job from the accts receivable.

So when customer comes in we enter them directly to QB's creating the customer/job, print out a work order and attach it to the computer/laptop and put it on the shelf in line to be worked on. As worked on we put notes on the hard copy of the job order and any communication we have with the owner. SO we use it as contact management but its not terrific for that.

Jobs that get abandoned after our diag-we have the date brought in on the job order and then we make notes on it about contacting the customer and starting the timer to condemn/ confiscate the computer.

Draw backs using QB's as the CRM is that you cannot send emails or have web interface for customers to check on progress. Its 100% up to your techs to update the work order with any information you want saved in the contact information. Then you have to move it from the work order to the permanent customer record if something you want to keep. It is easy enough to do a find and pull up all estimates, job orders, invoices and payments by a single customer, then drill down to the exact transaction for more information. I love that you can easily change mistakes but that also makes it easy for your employees to change things too when you are not around so it is not very secure if employees have full rights to access the old invoices. For example on your day off an employee can check in a computer, repair it, find out that the customer pays it with cash, then go back and delete all hints of the transaction. There is an audit trail but it only tells you that it was turned off and turned back on.

QB's is easy to use and full accounting program, so long as you keep the checking account up to date and reconcile it on a monthly bases. Gets more difficult if you let it go a few months.

IMO-Important activities are:

Invoice each job (but you do not need to create a new job for each job), receive payment, make deposits, pay bills, reconcile visa charges and deposits, make other deposits, pay roll, reconcile checking account.

My partner does it differently in our two stores in CA - he checks in with printed 3 part job order/invoice, then uses cash register to receive payments and then he takes that information home and enters the gross sales only, into QB's but doesn't use the customer list in QB's and manages the pay bills and checking at home. He also keeps the hard copy of the job orders which he can enter later into a contact management system to keep his customer list.

This is ok to start but its clumsy to find old invoices for warranty or just to remember what you did last time on repeat costumers.

10-05-2011, 01:46 AM
About a year ago my wife started helping me with my accounting and marketing. It's been an incredible help to me.

No big adjustment as we've both been predominantly but separately self-employed and working at home for a dozen years.

10-05-2011, 06:12 AM
Nope, it's just me...for better or worse. The last employer I had was a husband and wife team and though they have been together a long time I'm not 100% sure being in each other's faces 24/7 was a good thing. In fact towards the end I sensed the wife was very unhappy.

My husband is in a completely different line of work and though I often wish he could understand what the heck I am talking about when I rant about a bothersome tech problem/customer...maybe it's just as well he doesn't. Sometimes he actually brings some fresh ideas from the outside, and he's pretty good at presenting "average joe" perceptions for me to think about. I do feel sorry for what he has to listen to when I've had a really tough day, though. The look on his face is pretty much a constant ---> :confused: