Who says that romance and business can’t mix? Many successful businesses are run by couples.
In fact, going into business with your partner can offer a range of unique benefits, such as new appreciation and respect for one another, the ability to plan time off together, and improved communication — all of which can ultimately bring you closer together!
If you and your partner are interested in starting a business together, but you aren’t sure where to start, consider the 25 business ideas for couples below.
8 Service Businesses:
1) Pet Sitting
Description: If you and your significant other both love pets, why not start a joint pet sitting business?
Start by spreading the word to friends, family, and other people in your social circles that you’re available to pet sit when they go out of town. People will definitely prefer to hire someone they know to take care of their pets instead of sending them to a boarding facility or hiring a stranger.
You could also try signing up for a pet sitting app, such as Rover. List both you and your partners’ names on your profile and include a photo of the two of you, so people know they’re hiring a couple to care for their pets.
Resources: This article from Entrepreneur has some information on how to start a pet sitting business, including how much to charge for different services.
Description: Cleaning houses with your partner means you can get jobs done in half the time. Offer cleaning services to people you know and ask them to refer you to others. Working professionals with 9-5 jobs and people with families are a great target audience, as they tend to have the least time to clean their homes themselves.
Resources: Read more about how to start a cleaning business on NerdWallet.
3) Fitness Classes
Description: Are you and your partner the sporty types? If so, offering fitness classes might be the perfect couples’ business idea for you. Think about areas of fitness you and your partner can specialize in, such as yoga or weight lifting; then start advertising personal training in those areas.
Social networks like Instagram and Facebook are a great place to market your personal training classes. You could also post flyers wherever it’s allowed, such as on an announcement board in the building you live in or, even better, at a local gym.
Resources: Here’s an article from Indeed with tips for becoming a personal trainer.
4) Teaching English
Description: For couples that are passionate about education, teaching English is a great business to get into. English teachers are in high demand all over the world, and there are lots of online and in-person opportunities you could look into.
If you don’t mind working odd hours, look for companies based in China and other Asian countries that hire English teachers to teach kids online. Or, if you want an adventure together, you and your partner could consider moving abroad to teach for a while.
Resources: This article has lots of tips for how to start an online English teaching business, including how to get certified.
Description: For couples with a knack for gardening and landscaping, a professional landscaping business can be an ideal joint venture. You’ll need to invest in some landscaping equipment and have a vehicle capable of transporting them first.
After that, you can start advertising your services to people you know, on social media, and around your local community. You can try going door to door in high-end neighborhoods, too, where people have large yards in need of constant maintenance.
Resources: Check out this article from Entrepreneur about how to start a landscaping business.
6) Travel Planning
Description: Travel planning is overwhelming for some people. So, if you and your significant other consider booking flights and accomodations a breeze, you could start a travel planning business together.
There are organizations you can join to become certified virtual travel assistants, then it’s just a matter of building up a clientele. Consider specializing in certain areas, like European travel, or target a certain market, such as retirees. This will help you satisfy clients, who will in turn keep coming back and refer you to more clients.
Resources: Read more on how to become a travel agent on Travel and Leisure.
Description: Do you and your partner love photography? Then how about turning that passion into a business?
People are always looking for photographers for special occasions and events, or you could try selling your own photography in prints and other formats. Consider a specific photography niche to focus your business on.
You’ll need to invest in some professional photography equipment to start a successful photography business, then you can advertise your services on a website and social media. There are also sites where you can sell different types of photos, especially stock-style ones.
Resources: Take a look at this article from Forbes for more details on how to start a photography business.
Description: All you need for a courier business is a reliable vehicle and your smartphones. If you and your partner already have these, the next step is to decide what type of courier business to start.
For instance, you might start an independent business courier service. Or, you could sign up for one or more of the many courier delivery apps out there, which include food delivery apps like UberEats and DoorDash.
Whatever you decide to courier with your partner, one of you can drive and the other can deliver to complete orders faster!
7 Online Businesses:
9) Blogging / Vlogging
Description: Sharing a passion about something with the world, through a written or video blog, is another great option for couples who want to start a business together. For instance, if you’re passionate about travel, you could start a travel blog/vlog to share your adventures.
Discuss different niches with your partner to figure out what to focus your blog or vlog on, then set up a website or YouTube channel and start producing content. Once you get traffic to your site or YouTube channel, you can monetize it in a variety of ways, such as through ads, affiliate links, and paid sponsorships.
10) Live Streaming
Description: If you and your partner are into playing video games, you could try to monetize your hobby by streaming gaming sessions on live streaming sites, like Twitch, Smashcast, and YouTube.
Try to let you and your partners’ personalities, and your relationship, shine through on your live streams to help people connect with you and get interested in your streams. Once you have people watching you, enable ads on your streams to start making money. You can also allow fan donations and even offer paid streams or subscriptions eventually.
Resources: Check out this article from Business Insider for information on how to make money live streaming.
11) Etsy Shop
Description: Do you and your significant other like to craft and make things? If so, an Etsy shop where you sell things you create could be an excellent business option.
Setting up an Etsy shop is really easy and totally free. After that, start producing goods and listing them in your shop. Social media channels are great places to place sponsored ads and get your shop in front of more eyes.
Resources: Take a look at Etsy’s guide to starting a successful Etsy shop.
12) Digital Products
Description: Digital products include everything from eBooks to website templates. Think about what types of digital skills you and your partner have to find a niche, then start creating digital products focused in that area.
For example, if you are both graphic designers, you could create paid graphic design templates. Or, if you both know a lot about digital marketing, you could write an eBook together about the subject and sell it through a website and/or on Amazon.
Resources: Shopify has some good advice on selling digital products.
13) Affiliate Site
Description: Affiliate sites are something you can build together as a couple and they allow you to make money by including affiliate links in your content. You’ll first need to come up with an area to focus your site on, similar to a blog.
For instance, if you and your significant other love hiking and the outdoors, you could publish articles and other content related to that. Then, you would sign up for affiliate programs, such as Amazon’s, and include affiliate links to different hiking gear and outdoor products in your content.
Resources: Take a look at Shopify’s guide to starting affiliate marketing, with no money up front.
14) Online Reseller
Description: Are you a couple who loves shopping together? Are you passionate about certain types of goods, such as vintage clothes or antiques? Well, this is something you can definitely turn into a business!
Go on a few shopping trips together to build up an initial inventory, then take professional quality photos of everything and list them on online outlets. Depop is a great place for selling second-hand clothing, for example. And eBay is a great site to sell, well, anything!
Resources: Once again, Shopify comes through with some great advice on starting a reseller business.
15) Subscription Box Delivery
Description: A subscription box business is another type of online sales business that you can try out as a couple. Consider what types of goods and products you and your partner are passionate and knowledgeable about to come up with a theme for your subscription boxes.
For example, maybe you both worked as baristas before, and you love coffee. You could start a coffee/coffee-related gear subscription box company. You’ll need to find good providers to partner with and create a high-quality website to get customers. You should also have a budget for marketing to promote your subscription boxes on social media and other sites.
Resources: Here’s an article on how to start a subscription box business in 8 simple steps.
4 Food Businesses:
16) Food Truck
Description: Lots of couples have given up their boring day jobs to start successful food trucks. Although you’ll still need plenty of capital to get started, the great thing about food trucks is they require much less funding to start than a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
If you start a food truck with your significant other, think of ways you can leverage both of your strengths. For example, maybe one of you is talented in the kitchen, while the other has a knack for marketing. Split up crucial tasks based on skills for maximum productivity and success!
Resources: This article has 50 things food truck owners wished they would have known before starting their businesses.
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17) Coffee Shop
Description: There’s always room for more coffee shops in the world, right? If you and your partner love coffee, why not found a coffee shop together? If you don’t already have experience with coffee, consider earning some certifications from the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) or working in a cafe first.
Then, look for a great location to rent (a good thing about cafes is they can be set up in small spaces), design and build out the interior/exterior together, partner with a good coffee roaster, and start slinging coffees! Another option is to buy an existing coffee shop that’s for sale or invest in a coffee shop franchise.
Resources: This comprehensive guide to starting a coffee shop has tons of great advice in 30 actionable steps.
18) Cloud Kitchen
Description: A cloud kitchen is a physical restaurant that has no seating or physical storefront — it only takes online orders for delivery. If you want to start a restaurant, but have a lower budget, a cloud kitchen business is a good way to avoid paying for high rents and front-of-house staff.
You’ll still have to rent a physical space and buy kitchen equipment, but you don’t need as large of a space or all the furniture that you would need for a whole restaurant. You can potentially offset costs even more by renting out kitchen space to another restaurant brand and sharing your cloud kitchen.
Resources: TechCrunch wrote an unbiased piece on the pros and cons of cloud kitchen startups.
Description: Have you or your partner ever commented on the other’s baking skills? Well, if so, a bakery is another food-related business option for you to explore. Bakeries are similar to coffee shops in that they don’t require a huge physical space, but you’ll need to invest more in kitchen equipment up front.
Decide what types of baked goods to focus on, then sell them out of your storefront. Depending on how big your operation is, you could also expand to supplying other cafes/restaurants that don’t do their own baking.
Resources: NerdWallet has an article on starting different types of bakeries.
3 Real Estate Businesses:
20) Home Rentals
Description: Do you and your partner have extra space in your home or own more than one property? If so, you could rent it out for an extra side income. If you have some savings, you could also consider investing in a rental property.
If you want a steady, reliable income, you could go the traditional route and rent a room or a property to long-term tenants. But, you could potentially make even more by doing short-term rentals through Airbnb or another similar platform.
Resources: Here’s an article on NerdWallet about how to start an Airbnb business.
21) Bed & Breakfast
Description: Running a bed and breakfast with your significant other is another way to rent rooms out in your home to people on vacation. You and your partner can split up tasks like cleaning, cooking, and other hosting duties.
Keep in mind that most people expect a certain aesthetic from a bed and breakfast, so they work best in historic homes or other older buildings with classic charm. Unless you already live in such a property, you may have to invest a significant amount to buy one and start a B&B.
Resources: Check out this article from Entrepreneur on how to start a bed and breakfast.
Description: If you and your significant other love to camp and be outdoors, especially in the summer months, consider running a campground business together. Alternatively, you could hire a campground manager to live onsite, and focus on running the business side of things from home.
With limited capital, you could start a small traditional campground where people bring their own tents for a small nightly fee. Or, if you have more to invest, you could build cabins, glamping tents, and other luxury facilities to be able to charge guests more. An RV park is another option that’s similar to a campground but with a different market.
Resources: Here’s an article on Entrepreneur about getting into the campground business.
3 Manufacturing Businesses:
23) Handmade Jewelry
Description: Running a jewelry business with a significant other is a great way to split up the duties. For instance, one of you can be in charge of sourcing the materials and sales, while the other can be the one that actually designs and makes the jewelry.
There are lots of types of jewelry manufacturing businesses, from the very artesanal to the luxury. Pick your niche, then, depending on your goals and budget, you could either open a small brick-and-mortar retail store or focus on online sales — or both!
Resources: Here’s an article by Shopify with more info on starting a jewelry business.
24) Farmer’s Market Stall
Description: Whether you and your partner grow your own produce, make preserves, craft jewelry, or create just about anything else, selling your products at a farmer’s market is a good way to do it on a smaller scale without the investment a storefront requires.
In fact, if you think you want to start a coffee shop, bakery, or other food business someday, a farmer’s market stall is a great place to test out ideas and grow your brand until you’re ready to rent a more permanent space!
Resources: Here’s an article by Forbes on how to make money at a farmer’s market.
25) Clothing Brand
Description: Clothing brands can be anything from screen-printed T-shirts to fully bespoke leather jackets. If you and your partner are a fashion-focused couple, starting your own clothing brand could be a good business idea.
Decide what you want the focus of your clothing brand to be and where you will sell it. For example, will you have a physical shop or sell online? Do you want to make funny T-shirts or cozy winter accessories, like hats and scarves? There are almost infinite options to choose from in the clothing business.
Resources: Here’s an article from Entrepreneur on starting a clothing business.
4 Tips for Starting a Business as a Couple
Starting a business with your spouse or partner is a big step, and it’s different from starting a business with anyone else. As such, there are some unique considerations to have in mind before you take the leap. Here are some tips to make couples’ businesses work:
1) Make sure you have a healthy relationship to start with
Starting a business with your significant other can add a lot of stress to a relationship. So, if there are any existing problems in your relationship, the pressures of working together on a business can only make them worse.
Before you commit to starting a business as a couple, make sure your relationship is solid as a rock. If there are any minor problems, address those first and make sure you’re really committed to one another, before you commit to starting a company together.
2) Have an emergency fund saved up
If you’re going into business with your partner, chances are you’ll be using both of your savings to fund it. That means, if your business isn’t a success or takes longer than expected to turn profitable (which is likely), you won’t be able to fall back on your significant other to support you.
To protect yourselves against the unexpected, make sure you have some savings set aside in an emergency fund. Experts recommend that emergency funds should hold enough to cover 3-6 months of expenses, although more is always better.
3) Define your roles in the business
It’s important to separate your roles in your couples’ business from your roles in your relationship. So, give you and your partner titles and write clear job descriptions that cover all your roles and responsibilities within your new company. This sets clear expectations from the beginning, so you can avoid confusion and conflict with your significant other.
4) Do things separately outside of work
When you start a company with your romantic partner, you’re probably going to be spending even more time together than usual. Try to make a point of scheduling some time apart outside of your working hours to focus on other things you enjoy, such as hobbies, time with friends, and other activities.
Spending non-work time apart helps you add balance to your personal and professional lives. It also helps you reset after work, gives you and your partner some time to miss each other, and gives you something to talk about other than your business.