Dr. Marshall Northington's Managing the Family Business

employing a spouse in a family business

Is employing a spouse in a family business a good idea? Maybe. There is a danger in husbands and wives working together. All too often, business discussions continue at home and into the evening. Some couples manage their lives with this continuous exposure to business, while others find that it is invasive and intrudes into family matters. Without clear boundaries, separating the business and the marriage, there can be unhealthy consequences to the marriage.

Integrating family members into the business requires some important planning. Structuring a job description and assigning someone other than family to provide supervision is essential. How this is organized and presented is crucial to successfully bringing family members into the business. Marshall W. Northington, Ph.D., managed his family's construction-related business after his father died suddenly. In 1989, after his family business was sold, Dr. Northington founded Northington Ph.D. to assist individuals with career planning and life changes. Soon after, he developed Family Business Solutions as a major division of his practice.

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