Sales tip: Can your spouse help grow your mobile business?

Let me start with the obvious: the tool business isn't for everyone. You need a certain personality and skill set to succeed. Your wife might love it and be great at it. Or she may not. You can't force her to become something she isn't. So, even if she's willing to try it, you're best to test it out first.

Tony Orts, a Mac Tools dealer in suburban Chicago, once asked his wife, Debi, to take over his route on Fridays so he could have a "play day." She did well, but after awhile, Debi grew tired of working while he was off having a good time. So she "quit."

"It was a good run while it lasted," laughs Orts. His wife isn't involved in the day-to-day business any longer, but she will help out occasionally as needed.

So, ask your wife to try your route for a few days. Show her the ropes, then send her out on her own. If she thinks she would do well, give a second truck some serious consideration. If she's uncomfortable, at least she'll be able to take over your route for a day or two if you get stuck with jury duty or need a sick day (or play day).

And don't count on a second truck doubling your income. There might be some economies of scale, but it can also be a huge drain on your energy and finances. If she has her own truck, she won't be able to pitch in and help you as often. Maybe you can cover more ground and increase your profits by working the same truck together.

Working together isn't for every couple. Just be sure you seriously consider all the angles of a new truck or working together before you dive in headfirst.

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