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My wife working for me???

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Bossman 92, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    Here's the deal. I hired my dad a couple years ago to help take us to the next level. He's worked in upper management for the last 30 years in the tooling trade, mostly in sales and accounts management. He worked alot in the field and found us quite a few new customers, but he received an awesome deal for another tooling company and left us half way thru last year.

    Fast forward to now.

    My wife is a teacher, with a masters in special education. Over the last 10 years she has helped me with office work more times than I can count (does all of it now). Little by little I have had her call customers and new prospects and she does very well. She wants to step in and help in the office with establishing new accounts and growing the company.

    My question to any of you who have gone thru this is. What kind of training or classes should she go thru? She doesn't have a clue on how to bid a job, or what equipment to use, but her people skills are great. She understands the business, and what we do, but I think she needs to actually attend a class or trade show just to get a feel for how important (for a lack of better words) the job is we actually do. I have gotten to the point where I dont want to be on the phone all the time, so this may be a good fit. I don't care she cant bid a job, thats what I enjoy doing.

    Any advice would be helpful, thanks Andrew
  2. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    Teach by bringing her along to see what you do and how you do it. Much of it can't (easily anyway) be taught by just telling her how to do it, or writing it down as a guide, it needs to be observed and done with you before she can do it on her own.
  3. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    I would have her take some business classes. The community college here offers a 2 semester certificate program in small business management.

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,556

    don't put all your eggs in one basket
    have her keep her job. Hire someone else
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Low man on the pole,sidewalk shoveler!
  6. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    I guess I worded it wrong. She has no desire to quit her job, and there is NO way I want her in the field doing any work. She helped me out years ago when we first started the business and did ok in the summer, but there is no possible way I could put her in a plow truck.

    For the last several years she has done all the books, payroll, billing, deposits, ect. I make sure the work gets done and do all the estimates and take care of everything outside of the office. She handles the office side of things.

    Up until now I have done all the leg work to find new customers and create new leads. Now my wife wants to step in and help with this task (which is fine with me as long as she can do it)

    I was wondering what kind of preping I need to do to help her succeed. By that I mean, over the years I have developed a plan of attack (for the lack of better words) that I use when persuing new clients. Things I make a point to bring up, different ways to get in front of a potential customer, ect. I want her to know more than just the basics of how this business works, I want her to beleive in what we do. By that I mean it can be easy to get a little lazy in the process when its 95 outside and nobody wants to even think about snow,let alone commit to a 3 year contract.

    Not sure if a SIMA show would be beneficial or me just spending time going over things with her would be better? Just something to help her be more comfortable in the whole process.

    Thanks, Andrew

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,556

    Do what you do best. Hire out the rest.
    If your best at doing the deals. Don't switch that
  8. second income

    second income Member
    Messages: 82

    If she already knows the basics of the business then she really just needs to learn how to sell. Most major companies like IBM and the pharmaceutical giants use a technique called feature/benefit selling. The strategy can be applied to all businesses from service to retail. The only caveat is that the sales rep needs to know the product.
  9. second income

    second income Member
    Messages: 82

    Google the magazine salestrainingconnection. December 5, 2011. Great article on b2b selling
  10. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    Now, I'm sure you have a great relationship with your wife and that all is well. And I also don't know your situation, state laws, or anything similar. But I just want to play devils advocate here for you.

    Lets say your relationship goes south (which any relationship can no matter how great it is), where will that leave your business and the livelihood of your employees? If a divorce happens, will it affect your livelihood beyond just the general BS of a divorce, and in that I mean will you loose a key player in your company and how will you overcome that? Also another thing to keep in mind, even if you have a good prenup, if she "helps you build" that business even if its a C corporation and you are technically an employee of it, she may begin to have more rights than one might think to the business since you built it "together". This is a nightmare situation I've watched unfold for guys in the past, and as a result I do and will always keep my lady reasonably distant from the entire operation.

    And on the other side of the coin, and probably more importantly, do you foresee any way that the business would affect a great relationship that you already have with your wife?

    Again, I'm not trying to be disrespectful in anyway, and I know I'm skating a touchy subject (as I've found out the hard way in past conversations similar to this), but it is a valid point that should be considered and I'm just pointing out all angles here.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  11. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Merimacmill that is some solid & sobering advise. Like you my wife keeps her distance she usually helps getting year end taxes, deposits & on occasion billing, nothing more. She has a full time job as a nurse.
    To the original poster are some women now involved in SIMA, if your a member, if not that might be a good idea for your wife to join, check into the mentoring program, they are great people Maggie Downer (I hope I spelled her name right) comes to mind, there are more.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  12. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    Thanks guys I appericate and value all your comments. Just a quick update. Things are going well as we are experiencing our best summer season ever. My wife has done a few mailings and cold called a few people with great results. With her doing the billing and phone calls I have more time to concentrate on new accounts. Its nice to be able to call her and have all e mails answered and faxes sent while I am out working.
  13. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Just make sure you sit down and keep an eye on what she is doing so if you have to take over for some reason your not lost.
  14. 4wydnr

    4wydnr Senior Member
    from N. IL
    Messages: 151

    WOW! I realize there is a 50%+ divorce rate in this country but dang that is a pessimistic view of things. I take my wife's input greatly on what I do as it affects our home and marriage. Everything stems from your home life, it's much more difficult to be confident and succeed when you can't or don't trust your partner at home.

    Proverbs 31:10-11 "An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husbands trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain."
  15. wewille

    wewille Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    I dont believe he was trying to be pessimistic. I think he brought up some good points that the OP should think about. He wasnt trying to sway him in any direction just offering a second point of view. My parents ran a business together very succesfully for 35 years before they sold it to an employee. My mom worked for the Wisconsin DNR and took care of all of the books, payroll and much of the office stuff at night after her regular job. They worked great together. My business at the moment I do it all. My girlfriend tried to help out last year and she did a great job, but we had a lack of communication and ran into some issues. So at the moment I do it all. We are still together and contemplating going further with our relationship but for now she has very little to do with the business. If the OP wants to give it shot go for it. It sounds like she does quite a bit already so i would like to think it would work out for them.